Does anyone know about the apology of poetry by Philip Sidney?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Also known as the "Defence of Poesy," "An Apology for Poetry" was not published until after Sir Philip Sidney's death.

It seems to be directed to another writer, Stephen Gosson. Sidney is not really apologizing for poetry, but rather defending it. He writes about the dramatic stage (in Elizabethan England), while also referencing Edmund Spenser, another very well-known poet. (He wrote the epic poem, "The Faerie Queen," in honor of Elizabeth I of England.)

Sidney decides by writing this piece to defend poetry against attack. Like a well-written research paper, he takes on single points, one at a time, and provides support in defense of poetry. He refers to Plato, a famous philosopher. He speaks to the ancient history of poetry, and its place in every culture, inspiring man for hundreds of years. He also asserts that the poet does the job of the historian and the philosopher, lifting man's spirit and teaching as well.

In fact, Sidney's focus seems to be that poetry is a literary "transport" that can address any topic, perform many valuable functions within society through literature, and inspire as well.