The silver poets were a group of English writers—including Sir Thomas Wyatt, Henry Howard (Earl of Surrey), Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Walter Raleigh, and John Davies—who lived during the sixteenth century and composed short poems, ballads, carols, elegies, epitaphs, lyrics, and sonnets. Their writings explored the theme of love during the beginning of the English Renaissance through the end of the Elizabethan Age.
The silver poets are known for having broken with previous traditions, exploring new and different approaches to talking about love. Wyatt, for example, discusses courtly love in a style culturally influenced by other writers throughout Europe during that period. He went on to write poems which were erotic, sensual, and very personal as well. Wyatt was a courtier, and his poetry examines the notion of change and the vicissitudes which characterized his life as he navigated the politics of Henry VIII's court.