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Poetry & MoneyA Speculation$
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Peter Robinson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789622539

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789622539.001.0001

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Indebtedness and redemption

Indebtedness and redemption

(p.72) Chapter Four Indebtedness and redemption
Poetry & Money

Peter Robinson

Liverpool University Press

This chapter initiates the series of central studies which address issues related to some four centuries of poetry and money. It considers the metaphorical use of monetary and financial ideas in seventeenth-century secular and sacred poetry with a coda about an eighteenth-century elegy, focusing its discussion upon Christ’s driving the moneychangers from the Temple. Financial metaphors are identified and interpreted in Jonson’s ‘On My First Son’, in various of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, in Donne’s ‘Love’s Usury’, and poems from Herbert’s The Temple. Taking a hint from Donne’s comment on how the last line of a poem ‘mints’ the verse like a hammer blow, it compares and contrasts the forms of ending that these poems achieve. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the role played by allusion to Parable of the Talents in ‘On the Death of Dr Robert Levet’.

Keywords:   debt, redemption, religion, usury, last lines, Donne, Herbert, Johnson, Jonson, Shakespeare

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