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Why is Edmund Spenser called "the poet's poet?"

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amoonah | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 20, 2009 at 2:00 AM via web

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Why is Edmund Spenser called "the poet's poet?"

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 20, 2009 at 2:21 AM (Answer #1)

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Edumund Spenser was (and is) called "the poet's poet" because of the very high quality of his poetry and because he enjoyed "the pure artistry of his craft" so much.  He is also called that because so many other poets thought that he was a great poet.

Some of the great poets who admired him include John Milton (who wrote Paradise Lost), John Dryden, John Keats (perhaps most famous for "Ode on a Grecian Urn") and William Wordsworth (famous for his romantic poetry such as "The World is Too Much with Us").

Much of their praise is for his unfinished masterpiece entitled The Faerie Queene.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted December 20, 2009 at 3:09 AM (Answer #2)

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Edmund Spencer, poet, is considered to be one of the best poets of his era.  He was a leader in prose and style transitioning into fantastical allegory with the poem The Faerie Queene. 

Spencer wrote one of the most famous Epithalamions, a prose or poem written for a bride, on his wedding day for his own young bride.

He was very anti-Irish and often wrote in a manner that allowed him to mask  his political intent to do away with the Irish.  Because he was not afraid to speak his mind and express himself through his poetry and his great talents allowed his words to flow with elegance, wit, and beauty, he is considered to have been well liked and respected by the poets of his day.  Even in death "The poet’s poet" was carried to his grave by poets and pens were thrown atop his burial casket in his honor.

He is known for his quotes such as;

"a poem for a song" which he created after being rewarded poorly by the government for his poem  "The Faerie Queene." 

"reason for the rhyme," which is believed to have been changed to "rhyme nor reason."

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