Indecorous Thinking: Figures of Speech in Early Modern Poetics

By Colleen Ruth Rosenfeld | Go to book overview

NOTES

INTRODUCTION. THE SPECTACLE OF CARE: FROM FIGURE TO FORM

1. Spenser, “Muiopotmos,” lines 437–440.

2. Spenser, “Muiopotmos,” lines 90–91.

3. See Dundas.

4. Spenser, “Muiopotmos,” line 94. For a catalog of figures of speech in Muiopotmos, see Kearns. His essay is characteristic of the midcentury work that Heinrich F. Plett has described as the “encyclopedic” approach to rhetoric, including Sister Miriam Joseph, Shakespeare’s Use of the Arts of Language; and Herbert David Rix, Rhetoric in Spenser’s Poetry (Plett, Rhetoric and Renaissance Culture, 416).

5. Clarion, after all, can even take his wings on and off. He is a fly parading as a butterfly. Or, all butterflies are ultimately reducible to the fly because their wings are ornamental. For handheld fans, see: “Full manie a Ladie faire, in Court full oft / Beholding them, him secretly envide, / And wisht that two such fannes, so silken soft, / And golden faire, her Love would her provide; / Or that when them the gorgeous Flie had doft, / Some one that would with grace be gratifide, / From him would steale them privily away, / And bring to her so precious a pray” (Muiopotmos, lines 105–112).

6. “Conspicuous” is a key term for this book, and my use is informed by Harry Berger Jr.’s sense that something (in his study, “irrelevance,” frequently aligned with “ornament” as opposed to “argument”) can be “so very conspicuous that it ought to make us suspect the poet is more than merely clumsy or naïve” (The Allegorical Temper, 122). See also Isabel MacCaffrey’s modification, where she writes of allegory that “its significant feature is its conspicuousness—the force with which it asks us to notice peculiarities of modes of being within the poem” (Spenser’s Allegory, 90).

7. On early modern poiēsis and a maker’s knowledge, see Parker, “Rude Mechanicals,” 43–82, esp. 49–53; Turner, The English Renaissance Stage; Kalas. On the productive materiality of language, see Anderson, Words That Matter; and Burckhardt, Shakespearean Meanings, 22–46.

8. Jonson, Discoveries, 120–121. See Scaliger’s different articulation of this distinction: “For poema is the very work itself, the material, I might say,

-183-

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