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Literary Analysis of The Flaming Heart by Richard Crashaw

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I am asked to do a Literary Explication of the attached work using the passives (readers and Crashaw) and actives (Teresa) in this poem.

What does my professor mean by talk about the passives and actives of this poem, and what type of information should I address in this assignment?

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Solution Summary

This solution-guide provides background information on the poem and discusses activity and passivity in Catholic visionaries to help the student understand the material and build their own paper. This solution is 582 words with two online sources.

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Dear Student,

Here is an exerpt of the poem rewritten into more fluid, recognizable English here: http://eir.library.utoronto.ca/rpo/display/poem589.html. There is another one here:
http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/crashaw1.html. Hopefully these will help you clarify what the images and metaphors are.

Several critics have suggested that Crashaw's evocation of St. Teresa of Avila may have been influenced by a baroque sculpture by the medieval sculptor Bernini Gian Lorenzo, for the poem clearly describes the white marble characters in some detail. You can see the sculpture at http://www.thais.it/scultura/sch00349.htm; it depicts Teresa in an ecstatic trance, an angel about to pierce her with an arrow.

Here's some more background that may help you with your paper. The genre is devotional poetry, and Crashaw's imagery focuses upon the metaphysical conceits of Catholic saints, mystics and visionaries (of which St. Teresa of Avila is a notable ...

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