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“In th’Immensity of Nature Lost!”: Vision, Nature, and the Metaphysical in the Landscape of Richard Lewis’s “A Journey from Patapsco to Annapolis”

“In th’Immensity of Nature Lost!”: Vision, Nature, and the Metaphysical in the Landscape of... lora geriguis, sam mcbride, and melissa brotton La Sierra University "In th'Immensity of Nature Lost!" Vision, Nature, and the Metaphysical in the Landscape of Richard Lewis's "A Journey from Patapsco to Annapolis" The journey of a spring day, along the banks of the Patapsco River and traversing colonial Maryland from an inland village to the coastal capital of Annapolis, forms the subject of a once forgotten but recently revived poem by Richard Lewis (1700?­33?). "A Journey from Patapsco to Annapolis" (1731) records a depiction of the New World's landscape by a haggard language teacher, part-time colonial government functionary, Enlightenment-era amateur scientist, and "Pedagogue of Art,"1 a depiction that records the nature of the region and its inhabitants using aesthetic, pastoral, scientific, and spiritual discourses. The poem exhibits delightful attention to and appreciation of natural detail as well as surprising moments in which aspects of the environment are repressed and ignored. Lewis, himself an immigrant who faced the challenges of holding a liminal class position in the raucous social world of colonial Maryland, creates a narrator who seeks identification within the natural environment but who also wishes to read nature as a text for scientific analysis and spiritual edification. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early American Literature University of North Carolina Press

“In th’Immensity of Nature Lost!”: Vision, Nature, and the Metaphysical in the Landscape of Richard Lewis’s “A Journey from Patapsco to Annapolis”

Early American Literature , Volume 51 (1) – Mar 16, 2016

“In th’Immensity of Nature Lost!”: Vision, Nature, and the Metaphysical in the Landscape of Richard Lewis’s “A Journey from Patapsco to Annapolis”


lora geriguis, sam mcbride, and melissa brotton La Sierra University "In th'Immensity of Nature Lost!" Vision, Nature, and the Metaphysical in the Landscape of Richard Lewis's "A Journey from Patapsco to Annapolis" The journey of a spring day, along the banks of the Patapsco River and traversing colonial Maryland from an inland village to the coastal capital of Annapolis, forms the subject of a once forgotten but recently revived poem by Richard Lewis (1700?­33?). "A Journey from Patapsco to Annapolis" (1731) records a depiction of the New World's landscape by a haggard language teacher, part-time colonial government functionary, Enlightenment-era amateur scientist, and "Pedagogue of Art,"1 a depiction that records the nature of the region and its inhabitants using aesthetic, pastoral, scientific, and spiritual discourses. The poem exhibits delightful attention to and appreciation of natural detail as well as surprising moments in which aspects of the environment are repressed and ignored. Lewis, himself an immigrant who faced the challenges of holding a liminal class position in the raucous social world of colonial Maryland, creates a narrator who seeks identification within the natural environment but who also wishes to read nature as a text for scientific analysis and spiritual edification. Among those forces that shape the poem are a keen attention to aesthetics and concern for the intersections between beauty and bounty. Yet in order to create a work in which humans seemingly exist harmoniously with nature, the poet must willfully excise grating elements from the landscape, a gesture that haunts the narrator when he considers that which is beyond nature, an all-powerful deity who could as easily excise him from the universe. The poem's two primary emphases--description of material nature and representation of spiritual crisis--have been the basis of scholarly division in earlier criticism of...
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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1534-147X
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Abstract

lora geriguis, sam mcbride, and melissa brotton La Sierra University "In th'Immensity of Nature Lost!" Vision, Nature, and the Metaphysical in the Landscape of Richard Lewis's "A Journey from Patapsco to Annapolis" The journey of a spring day, along the banks of the Patapsco River and traversing colonial Maryland from an inland village to the coastal capital of Annapolis, forms the subject of a once forgotten but recently revived poem by Richard Lewis (1700?­33?). "A Journey from Patapsco to Annapolis" (1731) records a depiction of the New World's landscape by a haggard language teacher, part-time colonial government functionary, Enlightenment-era amateur scientist, and "Pedagogue of Art,"1 a depiction that records the nature of the region and its inhabitants using aesthetic, pastoral, scientific, and spiritual discourses. The poem exhibits delightful attention to and appreciation of natural detail as well as surprising moments in which aspects of the environment are repressed and ignored. Lewis, himself an immigrant who faced the challenges of holding a liminal class position in the raucous social world of colonial Maryland, creates a narrator who seeks identification within the natural environment but who also wishes to read nature as a text for scientific analysis and spiritual edification.

Journal

Early American LiteratureUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 16, 2016

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