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Brush up your poetry! by Michael Macrone

By Michael Macrone

As with the 5 prior books within the winning, "wonderfully informative" (San Francisco Chronicle) Brush Up sequence, Brush Up Your Poetry! is either a full of life primer and a desirable examine how our language has developed. A wealthy sampling of a few of the English language's best-loved poems is observed through energetic and revealing information at the significant works and the poets at the back of them.
Alt. ISBN:9780836221459

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Example text

Most of this nondramatic poetry, including a good half of the sonnets, pales in comparison to the plays. Make no mistake: Shakespeare's sonnets are, on the whole, wonderful. But he'd hardly be worshipped as he is on their basis alone. He could do amazing things in fourteen lines, but those confines were too small and too contrived for his gifts. The sonnet form was well suited to the sensibility and tastes of Shakespeare's age; by the same token, his accomplishments there were more for his age than for all time.

Eventually January goes literally blind and grows increasingly jealous and suspicious. But May figures out a way to foil him, even though he literally refuses to ever let go of her hand. I won't spoil the ending for you, except to say that what happens next involves one of January's servants, a pear tree, and an argument between the god Pluto and his wife Proserpina. Chaucer can't claim to have invented the notion that "Love is blind," which traces back at least to Classical Rome. Writers including Plautus, Horace, Ovid, Propertius, and Catullus allude to "blind love," and in medieval art we find many images of little blind Cupid.

You could say, based on surviving texts, that Chaucer's whole culture was prepared to believe the slur; but then that would just be repeating the Host's mistake—generalizing facts from fictions. - 3 5 - BRUSH UP YOUR POETRY? Chaucer's having some fun at the Host's expense here, though it isn't the first time his fun involved unflattering female stereotypes. Take Troilus and Criseyde, for another example. According to Chaucer, the god of Love, enraged at his portrait of an immoral, conniving woman, demanded that he compensate by writing The Legend of Good Women.

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