The Troubadour Podcast
#2. Sunday Morning Poetry: Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold
Mar 24, 2018
Kirk j Barbera
Last week we discussed Wallace Stevens poem "Sunday Morning," and how to create a secular "church." In his poem he rejects Christian Doctrine and celebrates the actualities of human life and the physical universe as fulfilling man's needs without any compensating hope of immortality.
His solution is essentially to enjoy the sensual world and to live in harmony with nature. A good message for sure, but he neglects one critical component of the human condition: pain, suffering, misery, evil: CHAOS.
Matthew Arnold in Dover Beach grapples with a similar theme to Stevens', which is the impossibility (in the eyes of the poet) of holding any religious faith. But Arnold loses his faith for a much different reason.