Edward Taylor's Poetry

All That Glitters Is Not Gold: Metaphors and Paradox as Means to Spiritual Purity in “Another Meditation at The Same Time” College

Short it may be, Edward Taylor’s “Another Meditation at The Same time” delivers to its readers a power articulation of both Christianity and the relationship between its Lord and his followers. Though there are several exceptions, the contributions of which are crucial to the poem’s purpose, the majority of Taylor’s metaphors use money, or at the very least something related to it, as their vehicles, with their tenors almost always being the speaker. By bolstering these metaphors with puns and complicating them with paradox, Taylor not only conveys the omnipotence of the Lord to whom his speaker supplicates but also the value of the supplicant himself.

To play out Taylor’s figuration, if every Puritan were one of God’s coins, then the combination of them all would comprise God’s wealth; consequently, their devotion to the Lord enriches him, causing a veritable co-dependency between the two. Still, an important line remains to be drawn: God is not creating these coins, but rather imprinting his image on those worthy enough to receive it. Through this distinction, Taylor implies that not all coins, or Puritans, are equal, but that there is a hierarchy of value in the greater system of Christian exchange, somewhere within which...

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