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Power, Prose, and PurseLaw, Literature, and Economic Transformations$
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Alison LaCroix, Saul Levmore, and Martha C. Nussbaum

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190873455

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190873455.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2019

Irish [and English and American] Poets, Learn Your Trade

Irish [and English and American] Poets, Learn Your Trade

Law and Economics in Poetry

Chapter:
(p.345) 14 Irish [and English and American] Poets, Learn Your Trade
Source:
Power, Prose, and Purse
Author(s):

Deirdre Nansen McCloskey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190873455.003.0015

he puzzle is why poetry has so little contact with the business of ordinary life. Robert Frost is an exception, but even so ideological a poet as Auden refrains from being bleared with trade. Yeats in particular, a conservative, disdained trade, though urging poets to learn theirs. The very word “poetry,” of course, is from “thing made,” and the puzzle deepens. St. Thomas Aquinas had raised making by people to the dignity of God’s making, at least poetically. And yet. We have The Oxford Book of Love Poetry and The Oxford Book of the Sea, with battles and botanical observations (“Nothing gold can stay”), and yet the economy, even after the invention of economics by the Scots in the eighteenth century, is set aside. It has left poets and their readers in law and literature and politics proud to be thus ignorant. The sacred and the profane in fact are entangled.

Keywords:   European poetry, Frost, Yeats, Auden, economy, trade

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