Jonathan Swift Poetry: British Analysis - Essay

Jonathan Swift Poetry: British Analysis

(British and Irish Poetry, Revised Edition)

In 1689, Jonathan Swift, at the age of twenty-two, came to Moor Park to serve as secretary under Sir William Temple. It was to be Swift’s brush with gentility, polite learning, and aristocracy, and it served him well. As a raw, aspiring man of letters, the youthful Swift hoped to make his name as a serious poet, and in this period, he composed a series of rather maudlin and certainly pedestrian poems that sought to soar in the panegyric strain, Pindaric odes in the manner of Abraham Cowley (and of John Dryden in his youth): polite but plodding celebrations and praises—to King William after the Battle of the Boyne (“Ode to the King,” 1690-1691), to a supposedly Learned Organization (“Ode to the Athenian Society,” 1692),...

(The entire section is 3123 words.)