Results 1 to 18 of 18

Poetry and Song discuss Dover Beach in the The Literary Forum forums; One of my favorite poems as an English major in college was "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold (1822-1888). It deals somewhat with loss of faith. ...

  1. #1
    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    23,794
    Blog Entries
    7

    Dover Beach

    One of my favorite poems as an English major in college was "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold (1822-1888). It deals somewhat with loss of faith. Does anyone care to comment on the religious aspect of this poem? I have included the text and some analysis below.

    DOVER BEACH

    By Matthew Arnold

    The sea is calm tonight,
    The tide is full, the moon lies fair
    Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
    Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
    Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
    Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
    Only, from the long line of spray
    Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
    Listen! you hear the grating roar
    Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
    At their return, up the high strand,
    Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
    With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
    The eternal note of sadness in.

    Sophocles long ago
    Heard it on the Agean, and it brought
    Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
    Of human misery; we
    Find also in the sound a thought,
    Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

    The Sea of Faith
    Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
    Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
    But now I only hear
    Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
    Retreating, to the breath
    Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear
    And naked shingles of the world.

    Ah, love, let us be true
    To one another! for the world, which seems
    To lie before us like a land of dreams,
    So various, so beautiful, so new,
    Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
    Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
    And we are here as on a darkling plain
    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
    Where ignorant armies clash by night.

    1867


    http://eir.library.utoronto.ca/rpo/display/poem89.html

    http://wilsontxt2.hwwilson.com/pdfht.../PH6Q8/TF6.htm
    Andrew

  2. #2
    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    23,794
    Blog Entries
    7
    *bump* any thoughts?
    Andrew

  3. #3
    just_grace is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    483

    Calm...

    I love tranquillity...

    J'aime la tranquilité, je la cherche avec toute ma force...
    David Michael Harris
    Home church : Aenon Baptist, Tongwynlias.
    Currently seeking those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

    "'After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.... For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell."

    ( Act 15 )

    ps;

    O yeah, and don't forget to keep the Sabbath...do this and you will insult the Grace of God. Farewell.

  4. #4
    fredtgreco's Avatar
    fredtgreco is offline. Vanilla Westminsterian
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    12,346
    Andrew,

    I have not thoght about Arnold in many years. I read this and other works by him back before the grey hair, children and 30 pounds.

    That is literature!
    Fred Greco
    Senior Pastor, Christ Church PCA (Katy, TX)
    Christ Church Blog

    "The heart is the main thing in true religion...It is the hinge and turning-point in the condition of man's soul. If the heart is alive to God and quickened by the Spirit, the man is a living Christian. If the heart is dead and has not the Spirit, the man is dead before God." (J.C. Ryle)

  5. #5
    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    23,794
    Blog Entries
    7
    Originally posted by fredtgreco
    Andrew,

    I have not thoght about Arnold in many years. I read this and other works by him back before the grey hair, children and 30 pounds.

    That is literature!
    Matthew Arnold made a big impact on me my freshman year in college. He was a gifted poet who lived in an age when Western society was departing from the old Christian landmarks, ie., the rise of Darwinism, literary criticism, etc. The "Sea of Faith" was retreating and hence he found himself on a "darkling plain." The romance and beauty of the poem and the place are par excellence; the melancholy acceptance of a post-Christian world without joy or love or light makes me ache for the man who can stand as such a beautiful portion of God's creation and be an agnostic. Yet God will be glorified in all his works.

    Andrew

  6. #6
    just_grace is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    483

    Coming soon...

    No eye has seen, no ear heard, what God 'has' prepared for those that love Him.

    If that verse does not confirm TULIP then nothing will.

    Sorry if its a deviation from the post.

    Beauty to come... Praise God for all of His creation.
    David Michael Harris
    Home church : Aenon Baptist, Tongwynlias.
    Currently seeking those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

    "'After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.... For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell."

    ( Act 15 )

    ps;

    O yeah, and don't forget to keep the Sabbath...do this and you will insult the Grace of God. Farewell.

  7. #7
    PuritanCovenanter's Avatar
    PuritanCovenanter is offline. The Norseman Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,745
    Blog Entries
    89
    Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
    Originally posted by fredtgreco
    Andrew,

    I have not thoght about Arnold in many years. I read this and other works by him back before the grey hair, children and 30 pounds.

    That is literature!
    Matthew Arnold made a big impact on me my freshman year in college. He was a gifted poet who lived in an age when Western society was departing from the old Christian landmarks, ie., the rise of Darwinism, literary criticism, etc. The "Sea of Faith" was retreating and hence he found himself on a "darkling plain." The romance and beauty of the poem and the place are par excellence; the melancholy acceptance of a post-Christian world without joy or love or light makes me ache for the man who can stand as such a beautiful portion of God's creation and be an agnostic. Yet God will be glorified in all his works.

    Andrew,
    You are so gushy. To bad you couldn't have come for a few beers this week. We could have been really gushy together.

    [Edited on 8-20-2005 by puritancovenanter]

    Norseman Moderator

    Randy Martin Snyder
    RPCNA Covenanter's Blog

    "Our object should not be to have scripture on our side but to be on the side of scripture; and however dear any sentiment may have become by being long entertained, so soon as it is seen to be contrary to the Bible, we must be prepared to abandon it without hesitation."
    William Symington


    RSI FacebookReformation Society of Indiana
    Twitter RPCNACovenanter
    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions? -- Joining PB Politics and Government Forums

  8. #8
    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    23,794
    Blog Entries
    7
    Andrew

  9. #9
    Ex Nihilo is offline. Inactive User
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,713
    This is a very interesting poem... One thing I notice about this poem is that, having lost a sense of absolutes brought by faith, Arnold has then to recenter his worldview around another person ("Ah, love, let us be true / To one another!"). He has to have some anchoring point... and yet, fidelity to a mate becomes an entirely arbitrary thing when it is the only absolute. (Why that one person? Why not another? Why not several people? Why not change partners later, if it feels good?) He's imposing an artificial center because his God-created mind just can't deal with the uncertainty that is the logical product of his beliefs.

    I remember once writing a short essay in my Victorian literature class comparing the (in my opinion) unintellectual agnosticism of Matthew Arnold with the unintellectual sort of blind leap of faith that Tennyson seemed to demonstrate in In Memoriam. (I think the hedonistic escapism of FitzGerald's "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" fit in there somewhere.) On the whole, it was all, I think, a rather sad foreshadowing of postmodernism.
    Evie B.
    New Members Class, RPCNA, Cambridge, Massachusetts

    [b]Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. -- Isaiah 43:18-19 (ESV)[/b]

  10. #10
    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    23,794
    Blog Entries
    7
    Good points, Evie.

    It should be noted that Arnold wrote this poem on his honeymoon at Dover in 1851. He was speaking of his new bride in the poem. The poem -- for reasons of which I am unaware -- was kept "secret" until its publication in 1867.
    Andrew

  11. #11
    PuritanCovenanter's Avatar
    PuritanCovenanter is offline. The Norseman Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,745
    Blog Entries
    89
    Originally posted by Ex Nihilo
    This is a very interesting poem... One thing I notice about this poem is that, having lost a sense of absolutes brought by faith, Arnold has then to recenter his worldview around another person ("Ah, love, let us be true / To one another!"). He has to have some anchoring point... and yet, fidelity to a mate becomes an entirely arbitrary thing when it is the only absolute. (Why that one person? Why not another? Why not several people? Why not change partners later, if it feels good?) He's imposing an artificial center because his God-created mind just can't deal with the uncertainty that is the logical product of his beliefs.



    I remember once writing a short essay in my Victorian literature class comparing the (in my opinion) unintellectual agnosticism of Matthew Arnold with the unintellectual sort of blind leap of faith that Tennyson seemed to demonstrate in In Memoriam. (I think the hedonistic escapism of FitzGerald's "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" fit in there somewhere.) On the whole, it was all, I think, a rather sad foreshadowing of postmodernism.

    How do you get all of this out of the above?

    [Edited on 8-20-2005 by puritancovenanter]

    Norseman Moderator

    Randy Martin Snyder
    RPCNA Covenanter's Blog

    "Our object should not be to have scripture on our side but to be on the side of scripture; and however dear any sentiment may have become by being long entertained, so soon as it is seen to be contrary to the Bible, we must be prepared to abandon it without hesitation."
    William Symington


    RSI FacebookReformation Society of Indiana
    Twitter RPCNACovenanter
    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions? -- Joining PB Politics and Government Forums

  12. #12
    Ex Nihilo is offline. Inactive User
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,713
    Originally posted by puritancovenanter

    How do you get all of this out of the above?

    [Edited on 8-20-2005 by puritancovenanter]


    I've been in classes where the poem was discussed and read articles on it. And after reading a little bit of literary criticism, you get comfortable making unprovable assertions about literature, because you realize everyone else is doing it, too, and that your opinion may be slightly less ludicrous than some.
    Evie B.
    New Members Class, RPCNA, Cambridge, Massachusetts

    [b]Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. -- Isaiah 43:18-19 (ESV)[/b]

  13. #13
    PuritanCovenanter's Avatar
    PuritanCovenanter is offline. The Norseman Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,745
    Blog Entries
    89
    So it is kind of a free for all license to interpret imagery in words. I like gushy imagery. But I just read it for what it says. I am kinda like that. A lot that I have read tends to be dark and despairing. So I haven't spent much time in poetry.

    [Edited on 8-21-2005 by puritancovenanter]

    Norseman Moderator

    Randy Martin Snyder
    RPCNA Covenanter's Blog

    "Our object should not be to have scripture on our side but to be on the side of scripture; and however dear any sentiment may have become by being long entertained, so soon as it is seen to be contrary to the Bible, we must be prepared to abandon it without hesitation."
    William Symington


    RSI FacebookReformation Society of Indiana
    Twitter RPCNACovenanter
    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions? -- Joining PB Politics and Government Forums

  14. #14
    Apologist4Him's Avatar
    Apologist4Him is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    251
    Originally posted by Ex Nihilo
    This is a very interesting poem... One thing I notice about this poem is that, having lost a sense of absolutes brought by faith, Arnold has then to recenter his worldview around another person ("Ah, love, let us be true / To one another!"). He has to have some anchoring point... and yet, fidelity to a mate becomes an entirely arbitrary thing when it is the only absolute. (Why that one person? Why not another? Why not several people? Why not change partners later, if it feels good?) He's imposing an artificial center because his God-created mind just can't deal with the uncertainty that is the logical product of his beliefs.

    I remember once writing a short essay in my Victorian literature class comparing the (in my opinion) unintellectual agnosticism of Matthew Arnold with the unintellectual sort of blind leap of faith that Tennyson seemed to demonstrate in In Memoriam. (I think the hedonistic escapism of FitzGerald's "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" fit in there somewhere.) On the whole, it was all, I think, a rather sad foreshadowing of postmodernism.
    Lord have mercy! Where might a guy find a woman like you? For real, I imagine we could sit and talk about philosophy and theology for hours and hours into the wee hours of the morning.
    Andrew
    First Presbyterian Church
    Branson, Missouri

  15. #15
    Ex Nihilo is offline. Inactive User
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,713
    Originally posted by Apologist4Him
    Originally posted by Ex Nihilo
    This is a very interesting poem... One thing I notice about this poem is that, having lost a sense of absolutes brought by faith, Arnold has then to recenter his worldview around another person ("Ah, love, let us be true / To one another!"). He has to have some anchoring point... and yet, fidelity to a mate becomes an entirely arbitrary thing when it is the only absolute. (Why that one person? Why not another? Why not several people? Why not change partners later, if it feels good?) He's imposing an artificial center because his God-created mind just can't deal with the uncertainty that is the logical product of his beliefs.

    I remember once writing a short essay in my Victorian literature class comparing the (in my opinion) unintellectual agnosticism of Matthew Arnold with the unintellectual sort of blind leap of faith that Tennyson seemed to demonstrate in In Memoriam. (I think the hedonistic escapism of FitzGerald's "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" fit in there somewhere.) On the whole, it was all, I think, a rather sad foreshadowing of postmodernism.
    Lord have mercy! Where might a guy find a woman like you? For real, I imagine we could sit and talk about philosophy and theology for hours and hours into the wee hours of the morning.
    LOL, thank you. I have done that on occasion. Does AIM count?
    Evie B.
    New Members Class, RPCNA, Cambridge, Massachusetts

    [b]Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. -- Isaiah 43:18-19 (ESV)[/b]

  16. #16
    Baroque Norseman's Avatar
    Baroque Norseman is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    11,016
    Originally posted by puritancovenanter
    Originally posted by Ex Nihilo
    This is a very interesting poem... One thing I notice about this poem is that, having lost a sense of absolutes brought by faith, Arnold has then to recenter his worldview around another person ("Ah, love, let us be true / To one another!"). He has to have some anchoring point... and yet, fidelity to a mate becomes an entirely arbitrary thing when it is the only absolute. (Why that one person? Why not another? Why not several people? Why not change partners later, if it feels good?) He's imposing an artificial center because his God-created mind just can't deal with the uncertainty that is the logical product of his beliefs.



    I remember once writing a short essay in my Victorian literature class comparing the (in my opinion) unintellectual agnosticism of Matthew Arnold with the unintellectual sort of blind leap of faith that Tennyson seemed to demonstrate in In Memoriam. (I think the hedonistic escapism of FitzGerald's "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" fit in there somewhere.) On the whole, it was all, I think, a rather sad foreshadowing of postmodernism.

    How do you get all of this out of the above?

    [Edited on 8-20-2005 by puritancovenanter]
    Just get to know her. She was holding back right there. Evie has (subconsciously) taught me many key insights on literary theory. In fact, and she would be uncomfortable hearing me say this, she has really helped me in a lot of my theological/apologetic formulation. I knew that if I phrased something stupidly or poorly, she would gently point out the flaws therein. After a while, I became more polished in my formulation/presentation. She is one of the smartest people I know.
    Jacob
    M.A., Louisiana College
    Studied at RTS Jackson
    ARP, Louisiana

    2Kingdomz4Life

    My blog: Extra Nos

  17. #17
    PuritanCovenanter's Avatar
    PuritanCovenanter is offline. The Norseman Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,745
    Blog Entries
    89
    Originally posted by Draught Horse
    Originally posted by puritancovenanter
    Originally posted by Ex Nihilo
    This is a very interesting poem... One thing I notice about this poem is that, having lost a sense of absolutes brought by faith, Arnold has then to recenter his worldview around another person ("Ah, love, let us be true / To one another!"). He has to have some anchoring point... and yet, fidelity to a mate becomes an entirely arbitrary thing when it is the only absolute. (Why that one person? Why not another? Why not several people? Why not change partners later, if it feels good?) He's imposing an artificial center because his God-created mind just can't deal with the uncertainty that is the logical product of his beliefs.



    I remember once writing a short essay in my Victorian literature class comparing the (in my opinion) unintellectual agnosticism of Matthew Arnold with the unintellectual sort of blind leap of faith that Tennyson seemed to demonstrate in In Memoriam. (I think the hedonistic escapism of FitzGerald's "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" fit in there somewhere.) On the whole, it was all, I think, a rather sad foreshadowing of postmodernism.

    How do you get all of this out of the above?

    [Edited on 8-20-2005 by puritancovenanter]
    Just get to know her. She was holding back right there. Evie has (subconsciously) taught me many key insights on literary theory. In fact, and she would be uncomfortable hearing me say this, she has really helped me in a lot of my theological/apologetic formulation. I knew that if I phrased something stupidly or poorly, she would gently point out the flaws therein. After a while, I became more polished in my formulation/presentation. She is one of the smartest people I know.
    I don't doubt her intelligence. That is why I sheepishly asked her. I feel like Isaiah. I have unclean lips. That includes grammar.

    Norseman Moderator

    Randy Martin Snyder
    RPCNA Covenanter's Blog

    "Our object should not be to have scripture on our side but to be on the side of scripture; and however dear any sentiment may have become by being long entertained, so soon as it is seen to be contrary to the Bible, we must be prepared to abandon it without hesitation."
    William Symington


    RSI FacebookReformation Society of Indiana
    Twitter RPCNACovenanter
    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions? -- Joining PB Politics and Government Forums

  18. #18
    Apologist4Him's Avatar
    Apologist4Him is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    251
    Originally posted by Ex NihiloLOL, thank you. I have done that on occasion. Does AIM count?
    Your welcome.

    I would love to chat with you on AIM! My AIM handle is...can you guess..."apologist4him".
    Andrew
    First Presbyterian Church
    Branson, Missouri

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72