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Task, The.

Task, The

(1785) A long poem by William Cowper, its purpose being, according to a statement by the author, " to discountenance the modern enthusiasm after a London life, and to recommend rural ease and leisure as friendly to the cause of piety and virtue. " In its six books ( " The Sofa, " " The Time - piece, " " The Garden, " " The Winter Evening, " " The Winter Morning Walk, " and " The Winter Walk at Noon " ), it deals with a number of subjects in which the author was interested, such as nature, rural life, animals, simple hard - working people, and social reform. Cowper's Christian orthodoxy -- his insistence on the fallen state of man and on a God found necessarily in revelation and not merely in nature -- makes him bitterly hostile to Deism and limits his sympathy and scientific discovery to prove divine design. In its recollections of the inspiring and healing qualities of nature, and in its use of blank verse, it is considered a forerunner of some of the poetry of Wordsworth. The poem contains Cowper's perhaps most famous aphorism: " God made the country and man made the town. "

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Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, 3rd ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1987
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