Opening the purple wardrobe: a psychoanalytic approach to the poetry of Richard Crashaw (1613-1649)

Bill Phillips

Abstract

Richard Crashaw is often considered the odd man out in Metaphysical poetry. He is condemned for being the "most European", or "Baroque", and although he is not unusual in writing religious poetry, he is unique in his devotion to the Virgin Mary, and for his obsession with bodily fluids. This essay explores Crashaw's reasons for adoring the mother-figure and anathematizing the father, by means of a brief psychoanalytic appraisal of his life and work, and shows why so many critics nave felt uncomfortable with lines like: "To see one blended in one flood,/The mother's milk, the children's blood."

Keywords

Poesía inglesa; Poesía metafísica; Poesía religiosa; Devoción mariana; Enfoque psicoanalítico; Crashaw, Richard



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.1999.12.11