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July 13, 2020


Don Z. Block

Yet the poem works, and the 21st-century reader who understands it should come away from the poem admiring the speaker, as you do. The speaker is not a brute; he is capable of loving and appreciating someone who deserves to be loved, one with a "chaste breast and quiet mind." And the battle he fights is an honorable one, a good fight, against an opponent who may be his match. The speaker is not a bully; he is not a sniper. He inhabits a completely different world, and it is the genius of Lovelace that he is capable of reaching across the centuries and helping us to understand that world.

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