Thursday, June 21, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 23 (Sir Philip Sidney)

Defence of Poesie, Astrophil & Stella
Sidney, Sir Philip
Defence of Poesie, Astrophil & Stella

Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books. I think I bought this for a course my first year of graduate school. It was not a course on Renaissance of Early Modern literature, but a course on how to succeed in graduate school, which happened to be taught by a professor of Early Modern Literature. We read Sidney and Spencer and Shakespeare, if I recall correctly. I read Sidney in an undergraduate course on Renaissance Lit at Fordham.

I've been meaning to give a shout out to Chris Piuma, a longtime faithful reader of PBH, who recently started a Tumblr blog called 'Wordsmirch.' Each day, he scans a page from a poetry book off his shelf and posts the images, sans comment.  It's great to see the insides of the books!

The url is

from Defence of Poesie, Astrophil & Stella

Where the philosophers (as they think) scorn to delight, so much they be content little to move, saving wrangling whether "virtus" be the chief or the only good; whether the contemplative or the active life do excel; which Plato and Boetius well knew; and therefore made mistress Philosophy very often borrow the masking raiment of poesy. For even those hard-hearted evil men, who think virtue a school- name, and know no other good but "indulgere genio," and therefore despise the austere admonitions of the philosopher, and feel not the inward reason they stand upon; yet will be content to be delighted, which is all the good-fellow poet seems to promise; and so steal to see the form of goodness, which seen, they cannot but love, ere themselves be aware, as if they took a medicine of cherries.

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