St. John of the Cross was a contemporary and friend of Teresa of Avila. The
Cloud of Unknowning was written about 500 years ago, but by an unknown monk
or priest, not by St. John of the Cross.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 6:41 AM
Subject: Re: 'Ash Wednesday' : A clarification requested
> Theresa of Avila is 16th century, but John of the Cross is much earlier--
> 14th century. _The Cloud of Unknowing_ was written about 1370.
> Eliot claims in the Clark Lectures that the 17th C English Metaphysical
> poets are one of the moments of "metaphysical poetry" but it is much
> earlier--Dante--that there was what he saw as a "unified sensibility."
> was already breaking down by the time of Donne. Presumably John of the
> Cross could have been part of that.
> Date sent: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 21:54:51 -0800
> Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
<[log in to unmask]>
> From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: 'Ash Wednesday' : A clarification requested
> To: [log in to unmask]
> From: Vishvesh Obla [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> I find that Eliot's poetry could be attributed to his intelligence
> in absorbing the literary sensibility of the Elizabethans rather
> than any other poetic sources of inspiration; probably, a difference
> to note, between him and Lawrence.
> I would think a strong difference on the intellectual level,
> but ironically, Lawrence's rural roots may have provided him
> with an inheritance of Elizabethan culture to some extent.
> I'm convinced that Eliot's devouring of the Elizabethans
> was part of his need to find his roots (as in East Coker).
> Elizabethan English was a significant connection to the
> medieval mystics of England (Ferrar et al. [good old al.]).
> He noted a general loss of connection with that Eliz.
> sensibility after Donne.
> I believe the Indic trad. tome will inform you of the
> degree of closenes with which Eliot came to converting
> to an Indian religion.
> I would not rule out the mystic dimension of AW, given
> the influence of John of thre cross/Theresa of Avila.
> They were, to some degree, contmeporaries of the
> Elizabethans, although I can't check the dates precisely
> right now.
> Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
> Dept. of English
> Camosun College
> 3100 Foul Bay Rd.
> Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
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