In thinking and writing about seventeenth-century poetry, I have happily acquired many debts. The longest standing are to Anthony Hecht and Joseph Summers, former teachers, valued friends, and continual influences in my own attempt to redress the balance between past and present understandings of poetry written in this period. Over the years, Annabel Patterson has offered many models and much encouragement for thinking about the seventeenth century, especially about the relationship between literature and politics. I owe, as well, more immediate debts to my Renaissance colleagues at UCLA: Michael Allen, A.R. Braunmuller, Christopher Grose, Gordon Kipling, Claire McEachern, Debora Shuger, and Robert Watson; to Anne Mellor, who helped shape some of my thoughts about women poets in the period, although the decision to include Anne Bradstreet is my own; and to the many students who have been teaching me over the last decade and who are now themselves teachers. I think especially of Marlin Blaine, Thad Bower, Margaret Cunningham, Peter Goldstein, Lisa Gordis, Robin Grey, Gary Hall, Marge Kingsley, Grainne McEvoy, Esther Gilman Richey, and Curtis Whitaker. I am equally grateful to the students in my undergraduate courses on poetry for continuing to give the lie to the notion that poetry is somehow in decline at the end of the century.
Portions of this study have benefited significantly from specific occasions and individuals. The late Georgia Christopher afforded me the opportunity as a speaker at the 1992 Southeastern Renaissance Conference, held at the University of South Carolina, to rethink the relationship between Herrick, lyric, and history. Thomas Corns, after inviting me to extend my understanding of Vaughan in an essay originally written for The Cambridge Companion to English Poetry: Donne to Marvell, helped to improve the final version. Much of the Herrick portion of Chapter 4 and all of Chapter 5 have appeared in The George Herbert Journal; along the way, they profited from intelligent commentary by Anne Coiro, Donald Friedman, Sidney Gottlieb, and Michael Schoenfeldt. A special note of thanks goes to Reg Foakes, who got me started on this project; to Joseph Summers, Robert Watson, and Curtis Whitaker, who, along with Professor Foakes, read—and improved—large sections of the manuscript; and to Professor John Richetti and the anonymous second reader