During the seventeenth century, America became a place for thousands of Puritan immigrants fleeing religious persecution in England. Puritans ideal life denied them the possibility of writing a good, meaningful poetry- anything that is more than the religious ones. Then suddenly a poet who didn't agree with that view of Puritisim was discovered. Edward Taylor was seemingly, a Puritan who wrote poetry for his own satisfaction, rather than for any other single deductive purpose. What even seemed stranger is that he wrote poetry that was sensuous and spiritual. Edward Taylor's poetry, his prose, indeed his entire life were informal by one central purpose, hammered at one anvil, aimed at one end. His poetry has a deep significance for several reasons that include the way it reflected changing times of New England, the types of worldliness it created, and its metaphysical significance.
Taylor's poetry is equivalent within the scope of his life. In his poetry, Taylor wanted to stress the influence of tradition of material experience in shaping the cultural landscape of New England. He argues that the influence of material culture over against the discursive realm. He is convinced that the religious life might be more helpful in leading us to understand how ideas moved in New England: for this reason, his poetry has clearly reflected the true life of New England and it was going to be the same no matter what. He believed that it was his and every other god featuring Puritan's duty to imitate Christ's life in all aspects.
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A careful examination of Taylor's life illustrates beyond question his social and orthodoxy, his involvement in the intellectual life of his times, his commitment to all that the new colonial New England represents. His education and vocation were typical. "He was a learned man in an age of many learned men". (Laura Page 24). He is a metaphysical predecessor and was moved to his poetry by both religious devotion and innate artistic impulse. His sole inspiration was a glooming passionate love for Christ expressed in terms of his own unworthiness obvious yearning. He was a self style defender of American covenants, a local apologist of valley orthodoxy. His reference to heaven and hell were in reality his way of talking about New England and orthodoxy in the changing times of New England. All that creates a fine worldliness that is noticeably clear in his life of poetry.
Taylor's poetry has opened the study onto the larger field of New England culture. A culture that highlighted the degree to which Taylor's poetry was influenced not only by his personal feelings, on the Psalms, but by his corporate experience of the Psalms as an important part of congregation church worship. His work suggests that he has offered the best he has; he offered praise that reflected the reality of his story and didn't seek to jump above his own experience in polished eloquence. Taylor's poetry and its characteristics focus on conversion and the state of the soul, it is the best interpreted within the mode of cultural production dictated by his development within and commitment to strict Puritan system of religious devotions.
Edward Taylor had an obsession to create, which is to deplete, to enrich to supplement ordinary human experience. Writing poems was the main dimension to his life. Edward's poetry made it possible for him to project his desires in the form of potential, possibilities, and hopes. The language in Taylor's poetry made his game possible. Taylor is the first American to discover language as a way out of his trapped presence in New England.
His resolution is to hope that the telling of his story will not only be the record of his own experience but will encompass also the broader story plotted out by God in the history of redemption. He understands the poetic process itself as a live experience of spiritual aspiration and transformation.
Edward Taylor through poetry had been able to break out of the Puritan mold or at least stretch it considerably through his poems. Taylor's attitude towards poetry explains both his injection against publication and what is American about him.
A series of eight numbered poems written upon what he called accurate, all illustrate his habit of investing daily events from the most trivial to the most important with religious significance. He claims greatness on his poems and not his sermons and chiefly on his major effort, the preparatory mediations. Because they are written in the metaphysical style: they are an impressive body of poetry when considered as a whole.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Every living act of Edward Taylor is considered a live, conscious act of dedication, or that his effect on the world was as weak as to make his activity in it impersonal. Taylor was on the contrary deeply involved in the world. The simple action of setting pen to paper makes a man conscious of his choice and his values, and Taylor was a ready writer. These activities include the thrill of a trip across the Atlantic, his love for his wife, and his grief at her death, and also his sermons and poems. All of Taylor life is all reflected in his poetry.
In Taylor, one extended to imbue the poetic world with life, he created a perplexing drama of grace, drawing into concert a full range of emotional, sensational, and intellectual experience he explored in his poetry. The motive and the general subject of the poems are uniform, their attitude and tune never vary; and they have a well supported structural formality.
Taylor was metaphysical, in the true sense is expressed in his strong sense of personal involvement in what is, for others, only an abstract and relatively distant speculation. That is convinced of "human nature" not as an abstraction but as the distinguishing quality of himself. He therefore, whether only metaphorically or actually, makes himself representative of the entire human race.
Edward Taylor's poetry was of high quality; Taylor was a genuine poet who meant every word he wrote. If you read his poetry closely, you will notice the depth of his lines and the vigor of his inventive fancy. Not only there was no necessary contradiction between Puritan orthodoxy and a mystical attitude toward the sacrament, but there was also no contradiction within Taylor's personality. The active and contemplative aspects of his life were of a piece. Even though his poetry was not published until centuries later, he is still revered as one of the finest poets of his day and throughout American history. He was metaphysical in the true sense because of his interesting, meaningful, philosophy towards religion, education, and the true life of Puritans. Also because he wrote out of necessity, out of need, not out of flights for fancy or when possessed by the spirit
In conclusion, it seems that Edward Taylor found the composition of poetry a useful device for working out the complexities and vicissitudes of his own conversionary experience. There was no way of knowing. He was a self style defender of American covenants. His language was clever, and to the point; erratic energies he wanted his words to move him to his purpose. He felt what he wrote, and there come the closer attention to the American pressures that moved him to write. Taylor produced some of the most colorful poetry, filled with symbolism and imagery, complicated writing techniques, and a passion for Puritanism and God, the one who inspired him in the first place. He has given a deeper understanding of the Puritan way of life and he has gone down in history as one of the most honored American writers.