English Renaissance Poetry

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Renaissance took its time to come to England, and the generally accepted date is in the first decade of 16th century and arguably extended till 1660. There is another claim that it was between 1580 and 1660 which was later accepted as earlier and later renaissance periods.


The connection between art and nature in English poetry had begun and later flourished during the Romantic Period, especially with poets like Wordsworth, Shelly, Keats, Byron, Blake and Clare.
"According to Ross, the earlier Renaissance, exemplified by the pastoral poets Sidney, Spencer and Breton, tended to see nature as a norm, art as a corruption (Richard Ross' analysis of Herrick, E. in C, XV, 1965, 171-180)1. But Taylor concludes that 'both Nature and Art were necessary to any accurate, complete view of the world'. Nature needs the nurture of man's art. In sixteenth century, word 'art' had a derogatory sense of 'false or counterfeit imitation.' While describing Temple of Venus, Spencer sees art and nature as working partners2:
The synthesis of art and nature is existent throughout, but nowhere it is more apparent than in Book VI. Sidney is another poet/writer who made a great contribution in this direction, as admitted by many scholars over the years.
Sidney celebrates poet's power in reinventing the nature. It was a peaceful period in history when there were no wars, arts were flourishing and natural ecology was untouched by man, people were good and just and literature was just emerging out of age-worn clichs. People in rural areas literally lived supported by Nature, and these poets were in tune with them, which can be seen by the harmonious poem The Garden of Marvell.
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