How does Johnson assess Cowley as a poet?

How does Johnson assess Cowley as a poet?

Introduction: Doctor Samuel Johnson wrote a collection of biographies of fifty-two poets. Among them, the ”Life of Cowley” is the critical observation of the poets Abraham Cowley.  In the biographical essay, Johnson has shown Cowley’s strengths and limitations.

The strength of Abraham Cowley: Abraham Cowley is a great genius in the history of English Literature, particularly in the field of poetry. 

A narrative decoration with conceits: we know that conceits mean a far-fetched comparison between two dissimilar things. But Cowley’s conceits are different from this traditional conceit. He has used the narrative decorated conceit in his writings. In David, he has used such types of conceits.

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Delightful description: Johnson has mentioned that Cowley had a unique style of description of pictures that brought great delight to the mind of the readers. Cowley used implication instead of images and shown not what may be supposed to have been seen.

Abundant of Knowledge: Johnson asserts that Cowley’s choice of subject matter is the storehouse of Knowledge. His sentiments were his own made and they gave the readers a profound Knowledge about the once remote and applicable rushed into his mind excluding these Cowley has a lot of strength as a poet.

Limitation of Abraham Cowley:

 As a poet, Cowley has some limitations but it is natural because no man is perfect in this world. 

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Carrying out his thoughts: Not only Cowley but also all the writers of metaphysical schools Carried out his thoughts in his writing. They have merged their own thoughts in their writings. Cowley’s thoughts to his last ramification by which he loses the grandeur of generality.

Pinders style: The Subject matter of Pinder’s style is noble and great. Cowley has used this style in many of his writings this style made his writings hard to understand to the readers.  

Uncertainty and looseness of poetic meter: Cowley’s sentiments must be added to the uncertainty and looseness of his poetic meter. He used any verse of any length in any place in his writings. 

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Besides he has some minor faults such as lawless versification, irregularity of subject matters, etc.

Conclusion: Finally, we can say that according to Johnson including above mention limitation Abraham Cowley is a great poet of the metaphysical school of poetry.

Mottaleb Hossain
Mottaleb Hossain

This is Motaleb Hossain, working on studying, a researcher on English literature and Theology.

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