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for the stirring up of heroick spirits, to benefit their Countrie, and eternize their names by like noble attempts'.
But a poem like "When I have fears that I may cease to be" is also a kind of implicit distancing from the poem it echoes, Shakespeare's "Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul / Of the wide world dreaming on things to come." Shakespeare's speaker thinks to eternize love through fame:
Raphael, in narrating the angelic warfare, explains to Adam that he could "relate of thousands, and thir names / Eternize here on Earth," but the angels loyal to God are "contented with thir fame in Heaven" and "Seek not the praise of men" (6.373-76).
you made your Visitations in the Suburbs, and outplaces of the Precincts of London, to enquire after evil livers, and by Justice strove to root out iniquity." (5) By so doing, the mayor "will eternize [his] glory, and establish prosperity in this worthy City," Johnson adds.
Poetry is thus presented as having the power to eternize not only the lady and the poet composing verse about her but also the very act of writing itself, an act that the Amoretti anatomizes continually.
She is also convinced that when she was born the "charge was giv'n me by th'Eternall powres" to eternize her patron Margaret, the countess of Cumberland (Salve Deus l.1458).
(519) Given the narrator's simultaneous contempt and admiration for Funes, it is possible to claim that the passage both celebrates the marvel of Funes's memory and renders its shortcomings evident: Funes's memory makes the flower eternal, removing it from the flow of time (much like art does), but it is also a machine-like contraption that eternizes absolutely everything that enters it, even a simple flower.
The other reason belongs to what might be called Zukofsky's ars amatoria, an epistemology at once sensuous and intellective, according to which caring implies loving entails knowing effects keeping of a kind that by definition eternizes the thing kept, and does this in a way that is not transcendent-idealist-Platonist-Romanticist, not just a lot of gas, but fully material and available to the senses: the kind of "outlasting" that poetry has at times claimed the power to effect.