Silence Dogood #7

Franklin writes Silence Dogood essay number 7 on June 25th, 1722. The subject of the essay revolves around the notion that “good poetry is not to be expected in New-England.” He talks about how the reason for this lack of poetic genius is not due to educational reasons, but rather that people do not give the proper praise and encouragement to pieces or authors that deserve so, resulting in more discouraged authors and unrecognized pieces of work.

Franklin spends a large part of this essay examining exceptional works of poetry, focusing mainly on elegies and pieces of writing that he considers to be elegant and beautiful. Franklin also expresses his critical side to poetry in a satirical manner. The phrase “It may justly be said in praise, without Flattery to the Author” indicates that Franklin is being discreet about his distaste for a poem while still making it sound like a compliment but “our soil seldom produces and other sort of poetry” besides those that are “wretchedly dull and ridiculous.” Franklin wants the world to be enriched with “more excellent productions” of writing that he admires and wants to break from the mundane writing that typically is produced.  Franklin then goes to give guidelines on how to write a funeral elegy for the “well-meaning fellows, who do their best, and that if they had but some instructions how to govern fancy with judgement, they would make indifferent good elegies.” He believes that with some guidance, writing and poetry will improve and people will “thereby endeavor to discover to the world some of its beautys.”

It is evident that Franklin finds strong interest in elegies and has a passion for strong writing, if only there could be more of it. His satirical statements serve as a way for people to sympathize with his need for beautiful writing and understand the lack of it around them. He seems to believe that better writing results in the entire world becoming more enriched as he stresses the importance of it through critical satire.

One thought on “Silence Dogood #7”

  1. This is great! I think you did a wonderful job of explaining Franklin’s opinion on why it was said that the New World lacks poetry. You also used great embedded quotes to show how Franklin used satire to show readers his more critical side. I think your conclusion summarized your main points about Franklin’s opinion of writing very well. Good job!

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