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‘Hibiscus and Salvia Flowers’: the Puritan Imagination

  • Tom Paulin

Abstract

Lawrence wrote ‘Hibiscus and Salvia Flowers’ on the 31 January 1921. He was then staying at Fontana Vecchia, in Taormina, Sicily, a popular winter resort under Mount Etna. His poem may be regarded as a distinctively puritan response to the political situation in Italy — it is written ‘to the moment’ and represents a volatile complex engagement with Italian socialism. If we regard Lawrence as belonging to the libertarian, essentially right-wing strand within English non-conformism — as embodying an ethic of puritan individualism whose economic philosophy we now term ‘monetarism’ — it may be possible to argue that ‘Hibiscus and Salvia Flowers’ represents a movement of sympathy towards an ideological position hostile both to Lawrence’s late-Romantic heroism and to individualism.

Keywords

Modern World Paradise Lost Economic Philosophy Hotel Price Revolutionary Socialist 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    ‘Democracy’, Phoenix, p. 699.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid., p. 701.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ibid., p. 702.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ibid., p. 709.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ibid., p. 718.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    10 December 1916, Letters, iii, p. 49.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    11 March 1920, ibid., p. 486.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    20 January 1921, ibid, p. 649.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    ‘Hibiscus and Salvia Flowers’, Complete Poems, pp. 312–18.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    14 January 1921, Letters, iii, p. 649.Google Scholar
  11. Exodus XII, 13. Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Samuel Richardson, Pamela, ed. Peter Sable (Harmondsworth, Middx: Penguin, 1980) p. 280.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    See also Paisley’s Progress’ in Tom Paulin, Ireland and the English Crisis (Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books. 19841 pp. 155–73.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    12 Ju1y 1920, Letters, iii, p. 566.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Phoenix, p. 709.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (London: Macmillan, 1963) p. 264.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book ni, lines 41–2; ThePoetical Works of John Milton, ed. Helen Darbishire (London: Oxford University Press, 1960) p. 54.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Tom Paulin 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Paulin

There are no affiliations available

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