Swift’s View of Poetry

  • Herbert Davis


It is strange that Swift has not been given more attention both on account of what he has written in verse and of what he has written about poetry. For although he did not profess to be either a poet or a critic of poetry, he is nevertheless in his casual and contemptuous manner the most extreme example that we have ever had in England of reaction against the heroic or romantic view of the poet’s function and art.


Eighteenth Century Taboo Word Famous Line Romantic View True Faith 
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  1. Sir William Temple, Works (London, 1740), vol. I, p. 191.Google Scholar
  2. H. Davis (ed.), The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift (Oxford, 1939), vol. I, pp. 181–2.Google Scholar
  3. J. E. Spingarn (ed.), Critical Essays of the Seventeenth Century (London and Danville, Ill., 1957), vol. II, p. 59.Google Scholar
  4. Harold Williams (ed.), The Poems of Jonathan Swift (Oxford, 1937).Google Scholar
  5. John Boyle, Earl of Orrery, Remarks on the Life and Writings of Jonathan Swift (1752), p. 180.Google Scholar
  6. F. E. Ball (ed.), The Correspondence of Jonathan Swift (London, 1914), vol. V, p. 11.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan & Co. Ltd. 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert Davis

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