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A Defence of Poesie and Poems   By: (1554-1586)

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A Defence of Poesie and Poems by Philip Sidney is a significant work in the realm of literary criticism. In this insightful collection, Sidney defends the value of poetry against those who question its worth. With eloquent arguments and thought-provoking ideas, he makes a compelling case for the power and importance of the poetic arts.

One of the most impressive aspects of Sidney's work is his ability to articulate the immense influence of poetry on society. He suggests that poetry has the ability to shape and mold people's thoughts and actions, making it a force capable of promoting virtues and moral values. Through his persuasive writing, he emphasizes the crucial role of poetry in inspiring and guiding individuals towards a more virtuous and enlightened existence.

Sidney also explores the inherent beauty and imaginative qualities of poetry. He argues that poetry has a unique ability to transport readers to other worlds and evoke intense emotions. He contends that poetry is not merely a frivolous or decorative art form, but a transformative experience that can deepen our understanding of the human condition and our place in the world.

In addition to his thoughts on poetry, Sidney includes a collection of his own poems. These verses provide readers with a glimpse into his creative genius and unique perspective on life. With rich imagery, evocative language, and a keen eye for detail, Sidney's poetry showcases his profound understanding of the power of words and their ability to convey complex emotions.

While Sidney's work is undoubtedly influential and thought-provoking, it is not without its limitations. Some readers may find his arguments to be overly idealistic or romanticized. Additionally, Sidney's writing style, though elegant and refined, can be challenging to digest at times, requiring careful reading and analysis.

Overall, A Defence of Poesie and Poems by Philip Sidney is a seminal work that has undoubtedly left a lasting impact on literary criticism. Sidney's defense of poetry and his own poetic offerings provide readers with a profound understanding of the significance and beauty of the art form. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the power of literature and the enduring legacy of poetry.

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Introduction by Henry Morley A Defence of Poesie Poems


Philip Sidney was born at Penshurst, in Kent, on the 29th of November, 1554. His father, Sir Henry Sidney, had married Mary, eldest daughter of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and Philip was the eldest of their family of three sons and four daughters. Edmund Spenser and Walter Raleigh were of like age with Philip Sidney, differing only by about a year, and when Elizabeth became queen, on the 17th of November, 1558, they were children of four or five years old.

In the year 1560 Sir Henry Sidney was made Lord President of Wales, representing the Queen in Wales and the four adjacent western counties, as a Lord Deputy represented her in Ireland. The official residence of the Lord President was at Ludlow Castle, to which Philip Sidney went with his family when a child of six. In the same year his father was installed as a Knight of the Garter. When in his tenth year Philip Sidney was sent from Ludlow to Shrewsbury Grammar School, where he studied for three or four years, and had among his schoolfellows Fulke Greville, afterwards Lord Brooke, who remained until the end of Sidney's life one of his closest friends. When he himself was dying he directed that he should be described upon his tomb as "Fulke Greville, servant to Queen Elizabeth, counsellor to King James, and friend to Sir Philip Sidney... Continue reading book >>

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