Date of Award

Summer 1952

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Pick, John

Second Advisor

Archer, Jerome W.

Third Advisor

Moloney, Michael

Abstract

Is a scholar who leads a comparatively sheltered life in his youth in an atmosphere of refinement and culture, who is gifted with extraordinary sensitivities and precocities, favored by early tutoring in music and drawing, educated at a university where a revival of religious fervor, liberalism, and aestheticism locked horns on the campus and in the lecture room, is this poet likely to be deeply cognizant of the demanding problems of society at large? In a poet who reads widely in philosophy, who associates intimately with an Oxford don who advocates the cult of hedonism, who reads and translates Greek verses, who writes a Platonic dialogue on the origin of beauty, who revels in minute observations of flowers, waves, and clouds, who teaches rhetoric and the classics to serious college men, is he likely to be sensitively aware of the economic conditions of his age? Is a priest who wrestles with the self-taught rudiments of musical composition, who spends hours on Egyptology, who sketches minute details of architecture, who struggles for the greater part of a lifetime with the twisting wraith of scrupulosity, who composes a popular account of light and ether, and above all, who writes inimitable poetry on sundry subjects, will be probably be oblivious of unemployment and industrial squalor? The purpose of this paper is to determine from a study of that poet's extant and available letters, notebooks, and poems just how tender was his social conscience.

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