Steps to the Temple

Publication Date: July 14, 2011

Chapter: English Literature in the Early Seventeenth Century

I'm having a hard time finding the poems in question online, which is sort of annoying, but I suppose I can soldier on without them. Suffice it to say, Richard Crashaw fetishized the Crucifixion. I mean, it's really kind of gross. Some of the poems read like a trashy romance novelist decided to cover Jesus' death. We're talking about poems like "On the Wounds of Our Crucified Lord," in which the various oozing wounds are compared to full-bloomed lips and weeping eyes. The blood emerging from the wounds are kisses and tears. And how can we forget that old chestnut, "Luke 7: She Began to Wash His Feet with Tears and Wipe Them with the Hairs of Her Head?" Not the most subtle title, really. The four lines of the poem literally describe her mopping up blood with her hair as the blonde becomes stained with red. As for the poem read in the comic above, you'll find it aptly titled "Blessed Be The Paps Which Thou Hast Sucked." Yee-ep.

In any event, yeah, I don't know if Crashaw got off on the Crucifixion or not, but he certainly had an unhealthy obsession with the gory details.

Author: Richard Crashaw • Year: 1646 • Info: Wikipedia

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