Edmund Spenser - Poetry


Spenser's Epithalamion is the most admired of its type in the English language. It was written for his wedding to his young bride, Elizabeth Boyle. The poem consists of 365 long lines, corresponding to the days of the year; 68 short lines, representing the sum of the 52 weeks, 12 months, and 4 seasons of the annual cycle; and 24 stanzas, corresponding to the diurnal and sidereal hours.

Writing The Faerie Queene was a time consuming project for Spenser. Due to this, he was not able to write for about a decade after his second anonymous verse piece, he was also known as a promising poet of his generation (Maley 20). Elizabeth I recognized Spenser by giving him a yearly pension for his works on February 25, 1591 (Maley 24). Roche was a person that complained about Spenser which put a struggle to keep Spenser's holding he made permanent in 1593, in Ireland (Maley 24). James VI was not pleased with the second edition of The Faerie Queene in 1596, since there was an allegorical trial of Mary Queen of Scots who was the mother of the Scottish king (Maley 25).

It is said that Spenser is the man to have crafted the phrase "without reason or rhyme." The Queen promised him payment of one hundred pounds for his poetry, a so-called "reason for the rhyme." The Lord High Treasurer William Cecil, however, considered the sum too much. After a long while without receiving his payment, Spenser sent the Queen this quatrain:

I was promis'd on a time,
To have a reason for my rhyme:
But from that time unto this season,
I had neither rhyme or reason.

She immediately ordered Cecil to send Spenser his due sum.

This may not have been the first use of the phrase, as it is believed that John Russell's Boke of Nuture (circa 1460) uses the words "As for ryme or reson, ye forewryter was not to blame."

Read more about this topic:  Edmund Spenser

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Famous quotes containing the word poetry:

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    A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become.
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