MICHAEL DRAYTON: IDEA: ELIZABETHAN SONNET CYCLE
Michael Drayton’s ‘Idea’ is one of the major Elizabethan sonnet sequences, reprinted here in an attractive new edition.
‘Idea’ is a sonnet cycle of love poetry, and some of the finest verse in the English language.
The book includes a note on Michael Drayton, illustrations, and suggestions for further reading. Each poem has a page to itself. It's a useful edition for students.
Michael Drayton was born in 1563 in Warwickshire. He worked as a page (for Sir Henry Goodyere, an early patron, and later for Lucy, Countess of Bedford), and esquire (for Sir Walter Aston). As well as poems he wrote plays (1597-1602). He died in 1631 and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Michael Drayton’s ‘Idea In Sixtie Three Sonnets’ was revised a number of times by the author. It was published first in 1594, and was republished in 1599, 1600, 1602, 1605 and 1619. Anne Goodyere (the daughter of Sir Philip Sidney’s friend Sir Henry Goodyere), is assumed to be the object of affection in the sonnet sequence (though it’s not certain if they were romantically involved; Drayton remained a passionate admirer for most of his life, and hers. She was married to Sir Henry Rainsford from 1595 until Rainsford’s death in 1622, after which Drayton continued as Anne’s devotee). The name Idea also has Platonic associations.
MICHAEL DRAYTON, SONNET 4, FROM 'IDEA':
BRIGHT STAR of beauty, on whose eyelids sit | A thousand nymph-like and enamoured graces, | The goddesses of memory and wit, | Which there in order take their several places; | In whose dear bosom, sweet delicious love | Lays down his quiver which he once did bear, | Since he that blessed paradise did prove, | And leaves his mother's lap to sport him there | Let others strive to entertain with words | My soul is of a braver mettle made; | I hold that vile which vulgar wit affords; | In me's that faith which time cannot invade. | Let what I praise be still made good by you; | Be you most worthy whilst I am most true!
Illustrated. Bibliography and note. 92 pages.