Female and Male Voices in Early Modern England: An Anthology of Renaissance Writing

By Betty S. Travitsky; Anne Lake Prescott | Go to book overview

26
Mary Sidney Wroth (1587?–1653?)
Robert Sidney (1563–1626) and
Philip Sidney (1554–1586)

Mary Sidney Wroth Writes on Love

In addition to the poems interspersed throughout her prose romance, The Countess of Montgomery's Urania (1621), Mary Wroth (1587?–1653?) appended a series of poems, “Pamphilia to Amphilanthus,” that includes a corona, or “Crown of Sonnets.” In a corona, the first and last lines of each sonnet are repeated, and the first and last lines of the sequence are the same, making a circular “crown.” Wroth's corona is a conscious literary expression by a woman poet of the voice of a woman in love, a provocative counterpoint to the incomplete corona of sonnets by her father, Sir Robert Sidney (see below). Here we rely on the late Josephine A. Roberts's edition: The Poems of Lady Mary Wroth (Louisiana State University Press, 1992).


A CROWN OF SONNETS DEDICATED TO LOVE

1.

In this strange labyrinth how shall I turn? Ways are on all sides while the way I miss. If to the right hand, there in love I burn; Let me go forward, therein danger is.

-329-

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