- Annus Mirabilis (poem)
At least two significant
poems in English literaturehave shared the title "Annus Mirabilis":
Annus Mirabilis is a
poemwritten by John Drydenand published in 1667. It commemorated 1665–1666, the "year of miracles" of London. In fact, the time had been one of great tragedy. Dryden wrote the poem while at Charltonin Wiltshire, where he went to escape one of the great events of the year: the Great Plague of London.
The poem is written in
quatrains with an ABAB rhyming pattern; this form is sometimes called the heroic stanza. The first event of the miraculous year was the Battle of Lowestoftfought by English and Dutch ships in 1665. The second is the Four Days Battleof June 1666, and finally the victory of the St. James's Day Battlea month later. The second part of the poem deals with the Great Fire of Londonthat ran from September 2– September 7 1666. The miracle of the Fire was that London was saved, that the fire was stopped, and that the great king (Charles II) would rebuild (for he already announced his plans to improve the streets of London and to begin great projects). Dryden's view is that these disasters were all averted, that Godhad saved England from destruction, and that God had performed miracles for England.
The title of Dryden's poem is now sometimes used without capitalization,
annus mirabilis, to indicate a year of particularly notable events. When Queen Elizabeth II called the 1992 fire at Windsor Castlepart of her " annus horribilis," she was knowingly evoking Dryden's poem.
The phrase "Annus Mirabilis" was also used by
Philip Larkinin 1967 as the title for one of his best known poems, regarding the onset of more relaxed sexual morals in 1960s Britain: There are 4 verses, the first reads:-
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/files/11488/11488-8.txt Dryden's "Annus Mirabilis"]
* [http://www.poetryconnection.net/poets/Philip_Larkin/4761 Larkin's "Annus Mirabilis"]
List of poems by Philip Larkin
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