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Unformatted text preview: Chief Works "Here Lies a Lady" (1924), a piquant commentary on the clash of reason and sensibility, displays Ransom's early vigor and the focal themes of his later works. The speaker, as though reciting an old English ballad, speaks in four-line stanzas composed of five beats per line and rhyming abab, cdcd, efef, ghgh. In line 16, the peculiarities of the lady's demise are neatly summarized: Her last days were marked by twelve episodes, six of depression and six of manic passion. Speaking through the mask of a courtly gentleman, the poet remains involved and yet detached by ordering the four verses with mathematical precision: one to begin the eulogy for the fallen aristocrat, a beloved family- centered woman; two to describe alternating fever and chills; and a fourth addressed to survivors. In mock antique language, the speaker wishes for all "sweet ladies" a balance of bloom and languor. mock antique language, the speaker wishes for all "sweet ladies" a balance of bloom and languor....
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- Fall '08