Scores of similar sonnets were doubtless written in the period.
A courtier who felt himself obliged to woo a recalcitrant dame of the court in the traditional manner, yet doubted his own poetic talents, could easily find a professional sonnet writer to compose one for him. There is nothing particulary bad or inadequate about these two closing sonnets.
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It is only because we have been accustomed to seeing the poet's heart laid bare throughout the sequence or so we imagine it to be that we are somewhat puzzled by two far more traditional offerings. Whatever the explanation, there is no reason for doubting that they are genuinely Shakespearian, and their position here at the end of the series is entirely fitting and appropriate to the traditions of the period. For the sexual imagery compare the extract from Venus and Adonis below, where Venus fondles Adonis in her arms: 'Fondling','she saith, 'since I have hemm'd thee here Within the circuit of this ivory pale, I'll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer; Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale: Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry, Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.
Within this limit is relief enough, Sweet bottom-grass and high delightful plain, Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough, To shelter thee from tempest and from rain. Cupid often took up residence in the beloved's eyes, face, breast, heart. Here the conceit is that the brand is recharged at her eyes.
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This and the remaining 5 lines link the sonnet to the dark lady sequence, in that the poet talks of his mistress and the experience of loving her, rather than expanding the general conceit of the properties of Love's brand with which the poem started. Samuel Daniel uses a similar idea to that used in this sonnet in 'The Complaint of Rosamond'.
O myracle of loue, That kindles fire in water, heate in teares, Ros. Sonnet CLIII Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep: A maid of Dian's this advantage found, And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep In a cold valley-fountain of that ground; Which borrowed from this holy fire of Love, A dateless lively heat, still to endure, And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.
Commentary 1. With a suggestion also of 'laid down beside'. Cupid sometimes was depicted carrying a torch, with which he set lovers' hearts on fire. His more usual attributes were a bow and a quiver full of arrows, but in this case the poet is using the original idea in the poem from the Greek Anthology. A maid of Dian's this advantage found, A maid of Dian's - Diana was the goddess of the hunt, a virgin goddess who was traditionally accompanied by many maidens. How is the final verse different? Find out about things that are carried on container ships today across oceans - can you write an extra verse for this poem to paint a picture of these more modern cargoes for a reader?
Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine, With a cargo of ivory, And apes and peacocks, Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine. Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus, Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores, With a cargo of diamonds, Emeralds, amethysts, Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.
Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack Butting through the Channel in the mad March days, With a cargo of Tyne coal, Road-rail, pig-lead, Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays. Register For the competition. Login Username Password Forgotten your password?
ivory an anthology of poems Manual
It is a landmark in the history of literary publishing. A sequel, Being Alive , and a companion anthology, Being Human , completed this poetry trilogy. Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy selects poems from all three anthologies, a third from each. They want to recommend these books above all other anthologies of contemporary poetry. The title says it all. I have long waited for just this kind of setting down of poems - and the way they work together is wonderful - all come together to talk at the same table.
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Has there ever been such a passionate anthology? These are poems that hunt you down with the solace of their recognition' — Anne Michaels. The last time I was so excited, engaged and enthralled by a collection of poems was when I first encountered The Rattle Bag.
This astonishingly rich anthology, by contrast, shows that what is edgy, authentic and provocative can also awaken the spirit and make its readers quick with consciousness. It's also, of course, a testament to poetry itself: to its powers to engross and move us, to its ability to challenge and brace us, and to its exultation. Everyone who cares about poetry should own this book. Staying Alive proves that poetry is the most sustaining and life-affirming of literary forms.
Buy it. Leave it around the house. Give it to friends. On page after page I found myself laughing, crying, wondering, rejoicing, reliving, wishing, envying. Neil Astley. Poem for a Daughter.