Thomas Gray Thomas Gray 1716- 1771, Born in London Gray was educated first at Eton, then at Cambridge He spent most of his life seclusion of Cambridge He was regarded as one of the greatest scholars in Europe His interests included Norse and welsh poetry and the Ossian poems Gray thought that there was a separation between the spoken language and the language used in poetry but Gray never regretted poetic diction (artificial language used in poetry).“ The language of the age is never the language of the poetry” He is still influenced in his poetry by classical and early English poetry Neoclassical elements and pre-romantic elements are mixed in his poetry: There are pre-romantic themes, but the language is still connected to neoclassical literature. Elegy written in Country Churchyard 1751 This poem can be divided into three parts: It is a poem of transition because elements from both periods can be found Novelty are: The description of nature, an interest in the countryside, the very peculiar moment of the day (evening inspires meditation) and the theme of death Old is the language used, which is still linked to the Augustan age: this type of quatrains has been used by Dryden so they aren't pre-romantic. I-II-III stanzas: a novelty in this poem is represented by the setting which is rural. In the fist two stanzas. The poets describes the countryside and the poem is set in the evening. Another novelty is represented by the description of nature. After that the poet focuses on the graveyard and the village IV-V stanzas: He describes the people who had lived in the village in the past. Those people were humble and the poet says that they are sleeping. It contribute to create a peaceful atmosphere. The sight of the graveyard induces the poet to meditate on life and death. He describes daily moments from the lives of these people. They were farmer and they worked hard and they joys were very simple. VI stanza: the poets talk about ambition and grandeur, which are two abstract idea, as if they ere human beings. It is typical of the classical world. VII stanza: all the things we would like to have in this world are vanity, they are designated to be destroyed by death. It seems to anticipate the idea of the French revolution In the Final part the poet addresses himself. The poet describes the thing that he used to do. He was a methodical, meditative and solitary person. He describes then the possibly day of his death, when a passer-by would ask the farmer about the poet. In the first part there's the description of the countryside; In the second part the description of the village , the graveyard and the forefathers; In the final part he became more personal: he describes his death and his funeral.