The first three books of Spenser's allegorical epic romance,The Faerie Queene, appeared in ; three more appeared in A fragment, the Cantos of Mutabilitie, which may or may not have been intended to form part of the great poem, appeared in , after Spenser's death.
Spenser appended a letter to his friend Sir Walter Raleigh to the edition of , explaining that the "general end The rest may possibly have been destroyed by Irish rebels when, in , they sacked Spenser's Irish residence at Kilcolman, but it is equally possible that the poet never managed to bring his massively planned work to completion. Spenser's Amoretti is one of the more idealized sonnet sequences, and Colin Clout's Come Home Again is an allegorical attack on the taste of the court. Like many Renaissance authors, his writings extend beyond the narrowly literary; his tract "A View of the Present State of Ireland" provides a series of brutal recommendations for the colonial suppression of England's Irish territories.
Not illustrated. The following notes consist mainly of what Donne well calls "those unconcerning things, matters of fact. The attentive reader who is also a lover of poetry does not require a commentator to explain what his own wit may solve, or to point out what he may already have observed.
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The notes for the most part serve only to elucidate remote allusions, and to give brief accounts of the occasions on which some of the poems were written, as well as of the personages to whom some of them were addressed. By showing the relation of his poems to the course of his life, their value becomes apparent as material for the biography of Donne's perplexed and intricate soul.
Page 5. This song is sometimes ascribed to Francis Beaumont and printed in his works.
Page 7. The Undertaking. That is, it were mere folly to instruct in an art of which the material is no longer to be found. Under the term ' specular stone " various sorts of translucent stone, such as alabaster and mica, seem to have been included. The lapis specularis was used in the time of Augustus for the filling of windows, and Harrison, in his excellent description of England, printed in Holinshed's Chronicles, , says, "I find obscure mention of the specular stone also to have been found and applied to this use i.
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An Epithalamion, or Marriage Song
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Sort order. I certainly got where he was coming from with that quip.
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I would not rush to study his poetry again. I love listening to poetry read by the author however I found the choice of readers in this audiobook did not help with my understanding or enjoyment of the poetry. I think also that some poetry is better read and especially that written in a style of language that comes less easily perhaps. I did enjoy the commentary on Donne's life.
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