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Chapter 5 - Market Hill

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 August 2020

Daniel Cook
Affiliation:
University of Dundee
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Summary

This chapter examines some of the Market Hill poems, which Swift wrote during bouts of intense creativity while in semi-retirement in the north of Ireland in the late 1720s. A subseries of poems written to, and in the guise of, the author’s hosts explicitly turn away from such famous works as Jonson’s ‘To Penshurst’ or Marvell’s ‘Upon Appleton House’ by moving inward: whereas the ideal poem in this mode celebrates a grand home as the material manifestation of the owner’s impeccable qualities, Swift instead voices the hostess as a trainee vexer, the host as a cruel dullard, the staff as aggravated upstarts, and even himself, in the character of an unwelcome if noteworthy houseguest. The gentrified British pastoral gives away to Irish realism. The satirical panegyrical ode has become a vehicle of self-critique. In markedly different ways, whether risibly or aggressively, the Market Hill poems deal with the Dean’s uncertain legacy as a Hibernian Patriot, a hard-worn but easily dashed image. This chapter ends with an examination of a shortlived but excessive verse war conducted with a rival cleric poet from Dublin who sought to tarnish Swift’s reputation.

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Reading Swift's Poetry , pp. 182 - 224
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Market Hill
  • Daniel Cook, University of Dundee
  • Book: Reading Swift's Poetry
  • Online publication: 10 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108888172.006
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  • Market Hill
  • Daniel Cook, University of Dundee
  • Book: Reading Swift's Poetry
  • Online publication: 10 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108888172.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Market Hill
  • Daniel Cook, University of Dundee
  • Book: Reading Swift's Poetry
  • Online publication: 10 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108888172.006
Available formats
×