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Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Gray

  • Date Submitted: 04/05/2010 12:49 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54.9 
  • Words: 1234
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......."Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" is—as the title indicates—an elegy. Such a poem centers on the death of a person or persons and is, therefore, somber in tone. An elegy is lyrical rather than narrative—that is, its primary purpose is to express feelings and insights about its subject rather than to tell a story. Typically, an elegy expresses feelings of loss and sorrow while also praising the deceased and reflecting on the meaning of the deceased's time on earth.
.......Gray's poem reflects on the lives of humble and unheralded people buried in the cemetery of a church. It is generally believed that the cemetery is that of St. Giles Church in the small town of Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, in southern England. Gray himself is buried in that cemetery.
The elegy is the most natural form of poetry because of its disassociation with metrical form, and lack of requirement of pattern, cadence or repetition. Within the elegy, Strand and Boland point out how the poet is permitted to express loss, mourn for the dead, and list the deceased person's virtues, while seeking consolations beyond the momentary event.
The elegy is the most natural form of poetry because it heeds to customs and is guided by laws and codes, which are part of the history and tradition of the society in which the poem has evolved. The works of Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" demonstrate how the elegy is written in a natural form because of the forces guiding this type of poetic writing.
~History and Tradition
Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" is a poem clearly demonstrating the history and tradition of the society. Roberts and Jacobs express how religious, personal, political, and philosophical thought can become integrated into poetry. To begin with, these settings - religious, personal, political, and philosophical thought - become evident clearly by Gray who is able to write freely within his elegy.
Gray is able to express how all...

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