Divine Cartographies: God, History, and Poiesis in W. B. Yeats, David Jones, and T. S. Eliot
Oxford University Press
W. David Soud
Publication Date :
14 Jul 2016
Recent critical studies of late modernism have explored the changing sense of both history and artistic possibility that emerged in the years surrounding World War II. However, relatively little attention has been devoted to the impact of poets' theological deliberations on their visions of history and their poetic strategies. Divine Cartographies: God, History, and Poiesis in W. B. Yeats, David Jones, and T. S. Eliot triangulates key texts as attempts to map theologically driven visions of the relation between history and eternity. W. David Soud considers several poems of Yeats's final and most fruitful engagement with Indic traditions, Jones's The Anathemata, and Eliot's Four Quartets. For these three poets, working at the height of their powers, that project was inseparable from reflection on the relation between the individual self and God; it was also bound up with questions of theodicy, subjectivity, and the task of the poet in the midst of historical trauma. Drawing on the fields of Indology, theology, and history of religions as well as literary criticism, Soud explores in depth and detail how, in these texts, theology is poetics.