The word baroque is derived from the Portuguese word ‘bronco’, meaning irregular pearl. Until nineteenth century the word baroque was used mostly as a fancy synonym for ‘absurd’ and ‘grotesque’. The characteristic feature of this style is energy, lack of harmony, attraction for the ornate and an explosive elaboration, which almost conceals the underlining order or pattern. M. H Abram in, ‘Glossary of Literary Terms’ defines baroque as a . .. Term applied by the art historians to a style of architecture, sculpture and painting that developed in Italy in the late sixteenth and seventeenth century and then spread to Germany and there countries of Europe. The style employs the classical form of Renaissance, but breaks them up and intermingles them to achieve elaborate, grandiose, energetic, and highly dramatic effects. Iambic Bunkum defines baroque style to be a style expiating awareness of both beauty and horror of the diverse and dynamic physical world, an “almost perverse pleasure” in shock, and hope for the eventual triumph of the highest value. Willie Spryer sees baroque as a ” sumptuous, pompous, invigorating, fleshly, authoritarian” style – and exuberant and resonant declaration of the ” glories of Heaven and Earth with an emphasis on earth. ” The word baroque has come to be applied to literature and especially to poetry.Order now
Million’s Paradise lost (1667) and Thomas De Quince’s prose description of his dreams in ‘Confession of an English Opium Eater’ (1822) are few examples of baroque writing. .. What though the field be lost? And all is not lost; the unconquerable will, And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit or yield, And what else not be overcome? (Million’s ‘Paradise Lost’) As Spryer recognized, the style can lead to absurdities; Dryden in his youth produced n instance of baroque verse in his elegy on Lord Hastings, who died of small pox.
An except follows: “Blisters Witt pride did swell ‘d, which through n tales d d sprout Like rose-buds, stuck I’ the Lily skin about, Each little Pimple had a tear in it, To wail the fault its rising did commit… Or were those gems sent to adore his skin To Cabinet of richer soul within? ” The usual examples of baroque writing come from the work of Richard Crash whose sensuous conceits appear in the closing lines of ‘prayer’ that he composed in the form of “An ode, which was prefixed to the little Prayer-book given to a young entitle woman. “O let the blissful heart hold fast Her Heavenly armful, she shall taste At once ten thousand paradises; She shall have power To rifle and deflower The rich and reseal spring of those rare sweets Which with a swelling bosom there she meets Boundless and infinite Boundless treasures Of Pure inebriating Pleasures. ” The term baroque is also broadly used to describe poems, regardless of the period, that display pageant feeling, extravagantly expressed. Modern instances of baroque poetry can be found in the works of John Done, Stilwell, and Dylan Thomas to name the few.