Classicism: The Art of Sinking

  • John Hoyles
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas/ Archives internationales d’histoire des ideés book series (ARCH, volume 39)


Watts renovated the religious lyric by purifying its diction and strengthening its syntax. He thus demonstrated that sublimity was no substitute for a redundant Metaphysical tradition. He is a classicist not because, like numerous minor poets, he used the stylistic devices of Dryden and Pope, but because he cultivated what can only be called the art of sinking. His art appropriated lyrical resources until then the monopoly of the Metaphysical poets, and consolidated the stock on which Blake and Wordsworth were to draw.


Lyrical Resource Syllogistic Reasoning Religious Lyric Elementary Syntax Short Essay 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 15.
    Alexander Pope, Works, ed. W. L. Bowles (10 vols.; London: J. Johnson etc., 1806 ), VI, 206–207Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Hoyles

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations