Loving un truth,and fain in verse My love to Show Philip Sidney Analysis 1: Like other creative persons of the period, Sidney also came under the influence of sonneteering. Thus a series of sonnets addressed to a single lady, expressing and reflecting on the developing relationship between the poet and his love grew up. Though the story does not have to be literal autobiography and questions of ‘sincerity’ are hardly answered, Sidney’s love for Stella, on the artistic level, has been traced to love-affair of the poet’s own life.
Stella is said to be Penelope Devereux, who did not or could not reciprocate the love and married Lord Rich. It is, in fact, owing to the predisposition of the mind created by the Romantic tradition of subjective art that we sometimes relate and interpret the works of other writers of other periods before the Romantics to and in terms of their biographical accounts. It must be remembered that with Loving in Truth the Astrophil and Stella theme-sequence opens. Significantly the opening sonnet presents the dual theme of how to write good poetry and how to win the favour of a beloved.
The poet even implies the question whether it is possible to a good poem aiming at winning the beloved. At the very beginning of the sonnet Sidney makes it clear that he writes the sonnet in order to win Stella. Here he employs the simplest means—which any lover does, namely, the pain-pleasure-knowledge-pity-love method: “… she might take some pleasure of my pain; Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain”.
The word ‘pain’ has, however, a double meaning here; in one sense it refer to the pains of love and in another sense it refers to the hardships of creative writing. This implies that poetry is not just inspirational or impulsive, but a long struggle with words, emotions and feelings. Theoretically Sidney was influenced by both Aristotle and Horace. He believed that good poetry must both teach and delight. That is why he thinks that reading well-written love-poems give his beloved pleasure and knowledge of his sincerity and anguish. This would, in turn, make her pity him and pity would give rise to love.
The poet confesses that once decided upon the means he went on to paint “the blackest face of woe/ Studying inventions fine…” Here we come to an outstanding feature of the imagery of Astrophil an Stella—the device of personification, which was, in fact, a medieval practice and influenced the poets till the 17th century. Here the poet also refers to the contemporary practice of imitating the words of other poets. But he comes to the realization that imitation without inspiration is futile. That is why he waits for “some fresh showers upon my sun-burn’d brain”.
The image is an instance of Sidney’s innovative imagination. By ‘sun’ he refers to Stella or the source of his love, which has dried up his creative faculty. The poet understands that this forces him to halt. When Sidney says, “Invention, Nature’s child”, he follows Aristotle’s idea that art is an imitation of nature. In accordance with that equation, literary imitation, the product of ‘study’ has a secondary place in creative writing. Thus, literary imitation, “others’ feet” cannot provide the solution to the creation of original poetry.
Here Sidney’s comparison of creative writing to giving birth to a child is highly significant and it contains metaphor within metaphor. At last a miracle seems to happen with him: “Fool’ said my Muse, “look in thy heart and write”. He comes to a sudden realization that only spontaneous inspiration can help the poet compose good poetry and win the beloved. When he will look into his heart, he will see the image of Stella, which will provide him with the inspiration and material he needs to write poetry.
Thus, the last line of the sonnet turns out to be a direct statement of Sidney’s critical creed that great poetry does not result from imitation of other poets, but from the expression of personal experience and passion. Such views on poetic creation are similar to those of the Romantic poets. Analysis 2: This poem is about Sir Phillip Sidney trying to write a poem that is good enough to win the heart of his beloved. The rhyme scheme is ABAB ABAB CDCDEE, which is a mix between an English and Italian style of sonnet. In line 2 of the poem, Sidney says, “some pleasure of my pain”.
In the poem, the word “pain” means the pains of love and also the pain that comes from the effort to try and write good poetry. Sidney then goes onto a flow of logic. He believes that a well-written poem will give his love pleasure and knowledge of the anguish that he faces. These feelings will give rise to pity for Sidney, and this pity will eventually give rise to love. Sidney goes on to write that he has tried to “paint the blackest face of woe”. Here Sidney uses the word “paint” as a metaphor. Once again, the word “woe” has the dual-meanings of his anguish of love and his pain for trying to write a good poem.
He also is personifying these feelings of anguish that he is experiencing. In line 6, Sidney uses the word “inventions” to mean inspirations. Sidney says that he is studying inspirations in the hopes of finding something that might entertain his beloved. In line 7 Sidney says that he has been “turning other’s leaves”. The words leaves are used in the place of the words pages. Sidney is saying that he has been reading through other poets pages in order to see if something in their poems would inspire him, or gives him ideas that he could use in his poem.
Sidney expresses this motivation when he says “Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburned brain. ” Sidney uses alliteration of the “f” sound. Sidney also describes his brain as sunburned in order to give the illusion that his brain is dry of ideas. The last part of the poem starts off with the word “But” being used as a transition word. Sidney also personifies the word “Inventions”. In line 10, Sidney says that “Invention” is “Nature’s child”. Sidney is saying that his poem is an imitation of nature. Later in line 10 Sidney writes that he “fled step-dame Study’s blows”.
Study is the actual name of his step mother and it can be inferred from his writing that he was beaten by her at some earlier point in his life. In line 12, Sidney uses the word “feet” as a metaphor for other poets’ writings and also uses alliteration of the “s” sound when he says “still seemed but strangers in my way”. Sidney is saying that other poets’ writings are still not giving him the inspiration that he needs. In line 13, Sidney writes that he is “great with child”. Sidney is saying that he is pregnant with the desire to write a creative and original poem.
Even though Sidney’s desire is so strong, he still can’t seem to write anything. In line 13, Sidney describes his pen as truant because Sidney decided to travel instead of finish his schooling. The last line alludes to the Muses of Greek Mythology. In Greek Mythology, the Muses are goddesses that inspire the creation of the arts. Sidney is using the word “Muses” to show that his beloved is the person who inspires his art. The poem ends with his Muse saying to him “look in thy heart and write. ” His beloved is telling him to forget everything else and just write from the heart.
This poem relates to the Ultimate Boon stage of the Hero Journey. This step of the Hero Journey is about completing the goal of the quest. Sidney has obviously obtained his Boon as told by this poem. The original goal of his quest was to write a poem beautiful enough to win the heart of his beloved. Throughout the poem, Sidney tries and fails to write anything beautiful enough to win his muse’s heart. Finally, his muse tells him to write from his heart. It can be inferred that Sidney follows this advice and eventually does write a poem that wins the heart of his beloved.