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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: January ::
Re: "A Funeral Elegy"
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0036.  Friday, 12 January 1996.

(1)     From:   Don Foster <
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        Date:   Thursday, 11 Jan 1996 08:43:08 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Text of "A Funeral Elegy"

(2)     From:   Joe Shea <
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        Date:   Friday, 12 Jan 1996 12:20:05 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0032 Re: "A Funeral Elegy"


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Foster <
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Date:           Thursday, 11 Jan 1996 08:43:08 +0100
Subject:        Re: Text of "A Funeral Elegy"

Sean Kevin Lawrence has suggested that I post the full text of "A Funeral
Elegy" (hereafter "FE"). Since most SHAKSPERians will not have the text at
their disposal, this strikes me as an excellent idea.  I am therefore posting
FE to Hardy.  Don't expect to fall in love with FE all at once so that you just
*have* to stay home on Saturday nights with Shakespeare's ravishing elegy.  As
Stephen Booth quipped at the MLA Convention (when asked if he was skeptical of
Shakespearean authorship), "I'm not skeptical of its authorship, but I *am*
skeptical of the poem."  Prof. Rick Abrams's essay on FE is likely to increase
critical appreciation for the elegy's self-consciously plain style.  But love
it or hate it, most readers will find FE to be an interesting if perplexing
text, especially in the months ahead as the full case for Shakespearean
authorship is laid out in all of its astonishing detail.

And now, I have to go shovel snow off my roof before the house collapses. That
white oobleck is coming down once again, in buckets: Woe! the wrath of God
descendeth on the Empire State.

Best,
Don Foster

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joe Shea <
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Date:           Friday, 12 Jan 1996 12:20:05 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 7.0032 Re: "A Funeral Elegy"
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0032 Re: "A Funeral Elegy"

The thing I note about "Elegy" is the incomplete, perhaps developing quality of
the lines.  Of all the ways Shakespeare's discussed paying Heaven its due, the
excerpt was perhaps the lamest.  I find it hard to believe that someone whose
poetry in the Tempest was so magnificent was so much less eloquent in Elegy.
But none of his longer poems have much interest except as historical oddities.
I have often wondered why he wrote so few of them.

Best,
Joe Shea
Editor-in-Chief
The American Reporter
 

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