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A Litany in Time of Plague

Publication Date: May 30, 2011

Chapter: English Literature in the Sixteenth Century

I have very little respect for Thomas Nashe. By all historical accounts, he was a highly conservative butthole that railed against change and wrote an entire work just to demean women (The Anatomy of Absurdity). He also wasn't very good. His first poem in the Norton is "A Litany in Time of Plague," excerpted from a larger play. The gist is that earthly riches and pleasures are meaningless in the face of certain death, and that we should instead welcome our pending doom since it leads to an eternity in Heaven. Now, I realize that poems don't have to contain particularly original subject matter, but if your style is bland and your subject is just more bitching about how earthly pleasures are evil, then I'm not gonna be your biggest fan.

Honestly. Bland, uninspired poetry about casting aside earthly pleasures to focus on Heaven? Nashe's lyrics were like the 16th Century equivalent of Christian Rock.

Except Nashe also wrote porn, so I guess those lustful earthly joys weren't so bad after all.

Author: Thomas Nashe • Year: 1592 • Info: Wikipedia

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