Astrophil and Stella
The Foolishness of Writing in the Poetry of Sir Philip Sidney and John Donne.
Stating that poetry should ‘teach, delight, and move men to take that goodness in hand’, it becomes clear why both Philip Sidney in ‘Sonnet 90’ and John Donne’s ‘Triple Fool’ suggest that writing in regards to love is foolish. The poems contain nothing but a lover’s melancholy for their beloved and does not ‘move men to take’ action, in fact one could say that the opposite occurs, as both poets are so critical of themselves the reader almost expects them to give up writing. Arguably, their sense of foolishness comes from the ‘shame’ of being rejected, as this appears to be the recurring theme in their poems, especially as other poems such as ‘Sonnet 63’ by Sidney put up an argument for the positive aspects of writing. Sonnet 90 highlights a sense of foolishness for writing about love, the alternate rhyme of ‘fame’ and shame in lines one and four inextricably link the two together implying that Astrophil is shameful of the popularity he is seemingly getting from his poems. Furthermore the lines ‘I wish not there should be graved in mine epitaph a poet’s name’ (90, l. 7-8) suggest a desire to renounce his name as a poet, and also imply the failure he has received so far from writing poetry.
However despite his apparent hopelessness at poetry, he still attempts to proclaim his love to Stella with the line ‘who seek, who hope, who love, who live but thee’(90, l.2), the stress on ‘thee’ emphasises his complete devotion to Stella whilst the use of hypermetrics ensures that Stella is thing in the poem he thinks of the most. However despite this foolishness they both feel about writing poetry to loved ones, once could argue that the sense of shame in both Sidney’s and Donne’s poetry is not just from their writing but also due to the very real rejection of their love interest. This can be seen in ‘The Triple Fool’ in which the irregularity of the meter and rhyme scheme have connotations of an inconstant love. Similarly the use of ‘if’ in the line ‘if she would deny’ (Donne, l. 5) highlights his doubt at the beloved’s words filling the poem with uncertainty. Therefore as they cannot blame the one they love for causing them pain, they turn inwards and begin to blame themselves and their work. Ironically, they turn to the very thing they are blaming to slight it. In this way, they can be seen as conforming to the idea of cynicism, which Zizek calls ‘negation of the negation’. It suggests that both Donne and Sidney are aware of their foolishness however do not renounce it because the image of a love stricken poet is their social identity. By practicing cynicism in their work, it allows both the poets to momentarily break free from the constraint of being a male lover and express there true feeling about their given identity. The simultaneous acknowledgment that it is foolish and a necessity to write arguably just make them seem more foolish to the reader.
In contradiction to this, ‘Sonnet 63’ of Astrophil and Stella, Astrophil uses ‘Grammar rules’ in an attempt to further his relationship with Stella. The use of anaphora on the word ‘grammar’ highlights his erratic behaviour and obvious distress towards Stella who ‘twice said, No, No.’ (63, l. 8) to his love. The end stop on this line suggests to the reader a very definite rejection; the stressing of the second ‘No’ further accentuates the strength of Stella’s refusal. In juxtaposition with this is Astrophil’s warped sense of ‘two negatives affirm’, which shows him, trying to bend language to fit his own intentions. This is specifically seen in the final quatrain of the sonnet in which the speaker manages to repeated ‘grammar’ four times, hence, following his own negation rule, changing both of Stella’s ‘No’s thus creating a physical enactment of ‘two Negatives affirm[ing]’(l. 14). This clever twisting of words that leaves the poet ‘high triumphing’ is an example of writing being successful, the word ‘triumph’ implying that Astrophil does not feel foolish because the poem achieved what it was supposed to. Therefore, this poem also highlights that the real reason for Sidney and in turn, Donne’s melancholy is actually there failure in love not feeling foolish in writing. Whereas Philip Sidney seems to be capable of Lynette McGrath aptly states that Donne ‘talks of descending to express him in verse’ implying an incapability to write poetry that expresses his love without simplification. His embarrassment at being a ‘fool’ becomes clear when he calls his work ‘In whining Poetry.’ (Donne, l. 3) suggesting a dissatisfaction with the poetry and its approach to love. The repetition of ‘grief’ (Donne, l. 10) and ‘fool’ (Donne, l. 21) throughout the poem also highlight his complete condemnation of his self and writing poetry whilst in love. However, it should be acknowledged in other poems such as ‘The Flea’, Donne shows an amazing display of rhetoric using the conceit of ‘one flea’
Ultimately, both poets use literary techniques of repetition to convey their cynical view on poetry and writing poems for love. However, despite this cynicism and their ‘self-deprecatory’ view of themselves the fact that both still continue to write shows an inability to stop working and being a poet; as Zizek famously states, ‘They know very well what they are doing, but still they are doing it’. Both poets show that they are aware of the stereotypical model of the male poet yet their refusal to renounce this model shows that it is not the writing they find ‘foolish’ but the subject of love itself, which has shamed them both respectfully.
 Lynette McGrath, ‘John Donne’s Apology for Poetry’, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 20, (1980), pp. 73-89. (p. 76)
 Sir Philip Sidney, ‘Sonnet 90’ in The Norton Anthology of Poetry, ed. by Ferguson, Margaret and others, 5th edn (London: W.W Norton, 2005), pp. 220, (l. 4). Further references to this text will be given after quotations.
 Ibid, ‘Sonnet 63’, pp. 217, (l. 1). Further references to this text will be given after quotations.
 John Donne, ‘The Triple Fool’, (l. 1),
 John Donne, ‘The Flea’, in The Norton Anthology of Poetry, ed. by Ferguson, Margaret and others, 5th edn (London: W.W Norton, 2005), pp. 310, (l. 10).
 McGrath, p. 77  Slavoj Zizek, The Sublime Object of Ideology (London: Verso ,1989), p.717
Ferguson, Margaret and others, ed., The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 5th edn (London: W.W Norton, 2005)
McGrath, Lynette, ‘John Donne’s Apology for Poetry’, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 20, (1980), pp. 73-89
Zizek, Slavoj, The Sublime Object of Ideology (London: Verso ,1989)
Expression and Emotion in “With how sad step”
Courtier Sir Philip Sidney was a prominent and highly influential literary figure in the Elizabethan age. Critics agree that Sidney was ahead of his time as a writer, and Alexander Gavin refers to the 1590’s as a decade in which he ‘dominated literary culture’, despite his death 4 years earlier. His most famous works include Astrophel and Stella, a sequence consisting of 108 sonnets and 11 songs. The progression of sonnets follow the speakers emotional state as he endures in an initially unrequited love affair, which results in his lover ending the relationship after she realises they are incompatible. In the thirty first sonnet, Sidney draws on a more sinister side of love, and in particular the suffering endured after it is lost or unrequited. The sonnet carries a deep sense of misery and bewilderment as the speaker tenderly begins to come to terms with rejection. It is widely accepted that Astrophel acts as a parallel to Sidney’s and his own heartbreak and a strong feeling of pathos is established through the speakers questioning of the fate of love. By confiding in the moon, the speaker is able to express his feelings in confidence as well as relate to it, which acts as a source of comfort to the distressed Astrophel.
This tightly structured sonnet works to explicitly highlight the raw emotions of the speaker; sorrow, grief and bitterness are all expressed as he dwells over his woes. The sonnet begins with the speaker projecting his sorrow onto the moon:
‘With how sad steps, O moon, thou climbs’t the skies
How silently, and with how wan a face!’ (ll.1-2)
Rich in pathos, the opening line immediately establishes the mood of mournfulness and sorrow. This is contributed to by the apostrophe ‘O moon’, as the speaker comments on it rising ‘with how sad steps’. The use of caesura decreases the pace of the opening line whilst simultaneously reflects the laboriously slow movement of the moon as it climbs the sky. This combines with Sidney’s placement of a spondee on ‘sad steps’ to convince the reader of both the speaker’ and moon’s misery.
The poem adopts the shape of a Petrarchan Sonnet, where typically the lady is always unobtainable and the lover often hopeless, and Sidney was likely influenced by the form during his year-long visit to Italy, where he studied the works of many literary scholars. A melancholic tone is created by Sidney’s utilisation of sibilance with the syntactical the choices: ‘sad steps’ and ‘climbs’t the skies’, which add a sense of wistfulness to the introductory line. The assonance of the vowel sound ‘aʊ’ prolongs the line length, and the combined repetition of fricative consonants create a slower pace, further reflecting the extent of the speaker’s tormenting thoughts.
As a result of pondering over his thoughts to the moon, the speaker learns that he can also relate to it. The idea of misery is reinforced through the description of the moon as ‘wan’, which connotes to it appearing pallid and unwell. This deviates from typical descriptions of the moon in which it’s complexion appears ‘glimmering’ or ‘orb-like’ and instead presents it as humanlike. Sidney’s use of ecphonesis: ‘wan a face!’ (l.2) demonstrates an abruptness as the speaker attributes the moons appearance as stemming from woes similar to his own. Astrophel universalizes his experiences,  expressed through the friendly term of address ‘Oh Moon’ (l.1) and the collective noun ‘our’ (l.3). This signifies that the concept of being able to relate to an entity as powerful as the moon is comforting to him, and the soft rhymes in the sestet reinforce the idea of the moon being a pain relief. The synecdoche ‘love-acquainted-eyes’ again personifies the moon, and the speaker recognises its infinite presence in the sky, where it has witnessed many people affected by love.
Interestingly, the later juxtaposition of ‘languished grace’ (l.7) suggests that the speaker has not always viewed the moon in a sorrowful way. The verb ‘grace’, which is typically associated with the elegant manner of the moon, is contrasted against the adjective ‘languished’. The abrupt contrast adds to the melancholic sentiment by providing connotations of weakness, which isn’t typically intrinsic to descriptions of the moon. More often presented as immortal and wise, the speaker’s lexical choices hint that Astrophel’s perspective has been tainted by his wounded pride. This is reflected in the adverbial of manner ‘descries’ which implies that the moons sad appearance has before gone unnoticed, explaining Astrophel’s lifeless descriptions.
Astrophel questions if love is also present in the heavens:
‘What, may it be that ev’n in heav’nly place
That busy archer his sharp arrows tries?’ (ll. 3-4)
Sidney uses allusion to reference the traditional figure of Cupid, who characteristically wounds lovers with his arrows to inspire feelings of love. The Renaissance period viewed Cupid as a catalyst of desire, and the figure arranges spectacles of love throughout Sidney’s sonnet sequence. However, Cupid’s inaccuracy as an archer was something which fascinated poets and was a topic of endless debate; perhaps the rhetorical question utilised by Sidney reflects this. In this case, the adjective ‘sharp’ is incorporated to highlight the pains of love, and the interrogative illustrates Astrophel’s wavering belief in cupid, as he has been inflicted with heartbreak rather than happiness.
In fact, the speaker’s disillusionment with Cupid results in idolising the moon as an expert of love. The reference to a ‘heav’nly place’ brings attention to the moon’s eternal presence in the sky, and presents it as God-like.
The night time setting alludes to the speaker’s sleeplessness, but the presence of the moon allows the speaker to accumulate his thoughts in a composed manner. The form contributes to this – particularly the rhyming of soft ‘ʌ’ and ‘e’ vowel sounds in the octet which emphasise the calm and collected tone of the speaker. This starkly contrasts to the explosive vowel rhymes and interrogatives present in the sestet, which represent the speaker’s sadness slowly deteriorating into anger.
Sidney uses elision in order to maintain his tight structure, and the regular enclosing rhyme scheme of the octet upholds Astrophel’s calm manner. Additionally, the strict iambic pentameter metre provides structure which balances out the speaker’s uncertainties regarding love, infiltrating a sense of security to Astrophel’s otherwise doubtful mind.
‘Then’ (l.8) acts as a Volta, and foreshadows Astrophel’s change of tone as the second part of the sonnet is entered. Here he becomes less focussed on the moons languished appearance and more fixated on his own feelings of bitterness. The succession of interrogatives reflects his increasing impatience at Stella, but also their repeated nature represents his unrelenting torment. The questioning is also significant as it demonstrates the relationship that the speaker has built with the moon – he idolises it as an expert of love and demands answers from a rejection which has left him in a bewildered state of mind. The term of address used in the opening line is repeated:
‘Then even of fellowship, Oh Moon, tell me,’ (l.9)
The repeated address and caesura add a sense of familiarity, and reinforce the idea that the moon is a form of comfort for the speaker. The use of apostrophe leads the voice to become much softer, contrasting with the generally bitter and harsh tone of the sestet.
The speaker’s mood quickly deteriorates as he questions Stella’s unreturned feelings in the alliteration ‘want of wit’. The emphasis placed on the harsh mono-syllabic words convey his anger at his affection being dismissed so easily. The lexical choice ‘scorn’ (l.10) furthermore is indicative of the speaker growing frustration as he questions whether ungratefulness is a virtue.
The repeated use of the plosive consonants ‘t’ and ‘d’ in words such as ‘yet’ (l.10) serve as a harsh reminder of the incessant pain the speaker has endured over Stella, despite his ‘constant love’ (l.10) for her. The punchy masculine rhymes such as ‘be’ (l.11) and ‘me’ (l.9) quicken the pace of the lines, and create a more upbeat flow to the second part of the sonnet, which add to the sense that the speaker’s bitterness is unceasing.
Despite Sidney probably being influenced by Petrarch during his year-long visit to Italy, he does deviate from its usual structure in terms of the rhyme scheme. The sestet rhyme ends in a rhyming couplet, which are not normally associated with Petrarchan sonnets, and suggests that Sidney incorporated the feature from a Shakespearian sonnet instead. However perhaps the unconventional ending along with the final rhetorical question is symbolic. Astrophel is left unsatisfied and the final interrogative voices his uncertainties over love that have been ongoing throughout the sonnet.
Overall, Sidney utilises a tight iambic structure in order to draw explicit attention to the thought procession of the speaker, and highlights the pains of unrequited love. The sonnet’s portrayal of unrequited love as unrelenting is reflective of the author’s own experiences, and the rejected lover is often left confused and hurt, demonstrated by repeated rhetorical questions. However, the speaker is comforted by the familiar figure of the moon, and decided that it too is suffering with lovesickness, which acts as a form of relief from his heartbreak. Ultimately, the speaker works himself up into a state of rage which leaves him in the same miserable mind set which he began with, demonstrating a darker side to love.
Gavin, Alexander, Writing After Sidney: The Literary Response to Sir Philip Sidney, 1586-1640, (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006) Kingsley –Smith, Jane, Cupid in Early Modern Literature and Culture (London, Cambridge University Press, 2010) Ferguson, Margaret, Salter, Mary Jo, Stallworthy, Jon, The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 5th ed. (New York: W.W. Norton & Company Ltd., 2005) Robertson, Jean, Sir Philip Sidney and Lady Penelope Rich, The Review of English Studies, Volume XV, Issue 59, (January 1964) Shakemyth.org, Kingsley-Smith, Jane, Cupid (2011) http://www.shakmyth.org/myth/70/cupid Spiller, R.G Michael, The Development of Sonnet: An Introduction, 1st ed. (Routledge, 1992) Sonnets.org, Miller, Nelson, Basic Sonnet Forms (1997) http://www.sonnets.org/basicforms.htm [accessed 18th February 2018] Young, Richard, English Petrarke: A Study of Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella, Three Studies in the Renaissance: Sidney, Jonson, Milton, (Hamden, Archon Books, 1969)  Gavin, Alexander, Writing After Sidney: The Literary Response to Sir Philip Sidney, 1586-1640, (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006) p. x  Ferguson, Margaret, Salter, Mary Jo, Stallworthy, Jon, The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 5th ed. (New York: W.W. Norton & Company Ltd., 2005) pp. 214-215  Robertson, Jean, Sir Philip Sidney and Lady Penelope Rich, The Review of English Studies, Volume XV, Issue 59, (January 1964) p. 296  Young, Richard, English Petrarke: A Study of Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella, Three Studies in the Renaissance: Sidney, Jonson, Milton, (Hamden, Archon Books, 1969) p.10  Young, Richard, English Petrarke: A Study of Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella, Three Studies in the Renaissance: Sidney, Jonson, Milton, (Hamden, Archon Books, 1969) p. 50  Shakemyth.org, Kingsley-Smith, Jane, Cupid (2011) http://www.shakmyth.org/myth/70/cupid [accessed 26th February 2018]  Kingsley –Smith, Jane, Cupid in Early Modern Literature and Culture (London, Cambridge University Press, 2010) p. 40  Sonnets.org, Miller, Nelson, Basic Sonnet Forms (1997) http://www.sonnets.org/basicforms.htm [accessed 18th February 2018]
A Close Reading of Philip Sidney’s ‘Sonnet 27″
Phillip Sidney’s sonnet, ‘Because I oft, in dark abstract guise’, was published posthumously in 1591, and occurs as part of Sidney’s most critically acclaimed work, Astrophel and Stella. Consisting of 108 sonnets and 8 intertwined songs, the sequence is predominantly concerned with the speaker’s emotional state during his obsessive love affair with the more passive Stella. It has been widely speculated by scholars that Astrophel acts as a parallel to Sidney, and his own captivation by the similarly unobtainable Lady Rich, and the sonnet sequence has been considered a portrayal of Philip Sidney’s own thwarted love affair. In the twenty seventh sonnet, a distant Astrophel recognizes that his detached appearance is a result of his overwhelming desire for Stella, who he has preoccupied as his ‘ambition’ (1.11). By combining elements of precursor Petrarch’s style, and his own poetic variant, Sidney constructs a powerful rhetoric which succinctly captures the paradoxical states of isolation and infatuation.
In the opening lines the speakers secluded state is introduced:
‘Because I oft, in dark abstracted guise
Seem most alone in greatest company’ (l.1-2)
Plosive and consonants ‘b’, ‘d’ and ‘g’ produce sudden bursts of air, which help to pace the poem and offer an immediately abrupt, uneasy tone. Sidney’s iambic meter allows stress to fall onto the words ‘dark’ and ‘guise’, which elicit attention to themselves and provide a disturbing insight into the speaker’s mind. Additionally, the juxtaposition of ‘most alone’ whilst in the ‘greatest company’ further suggests Astrophel’s hopelessness, something immediately recognized as a typical Petrarchan convention. Sidney evokes rich imagery of the lonely, void like space where Astrophel resides.
The octave depicts rumors circulating about Astrophel’s aloofness, which are instead misjudged as ‘bubbling pride’ (l.6). When spoken aloud, the alliterative comparison of ‘pride’ and ‘poison’ (l.6) has a rather forceful effect, as the use of a trochaic inversion places two consecutive stresses together, producing an explosive effect. By negatively connotating ‘pride’, Sidney depicts the effeminate and scandalous reaction the trait would have in Elizabethan society. The lexical choice ‘fawn’ is particularly striking, and appears to indicate a typical courtly action, but instead describes Sidney’s self-absorbed appearance, yet ironically it is Stella whom he is indulged by.
Sidney appears to mock the nature of rumors and how they quickly escalate and depart from the truth:
‘They deem, and of their doom the rumour flies’ (l.5)
The alliterative ‘deem’ and ‘doom’ quicken the pace of the line and increment to the rumor seemingly flying away. This evokes a sudden sense of motion, which contrasts to Astrophel’s passive state of stasis witnessed throughout the octet, and serves as a reminder that society continue to speculate despite his detachment. The use of enjambment quickens the pace and allows words to flow quickly and unconstrainedly onto the following lines, perhaps demonstrating the overwhelming effect of Stella’s presence, leaving Astrophel with ‘answers quite awry’ (l.3).
Heninger draws on biographical elements, arguing it is a gross oversimplification to read the text as a factual account of Sidney’s pursuit of Penelope Devereux. However, in assuming that the sequence relates to elements of Sidney’s life, readers are able to somewhat justify reasons for the passive poetic voice in sonnet 27. Sidney was widely watched as a courtier and enjoyed many successes in the Elizabethan court, but his career did not go untroubled. Arthur Marotti argues that the sequence expresses Sidney’s frustrations at exclusion from court life, leaving many of his ambitions unfulfilled under the rein of Elizabeth I, who often failed to reward Sidney for successful courier duties. It has been speculated that Sidney’s frustrations towards the court are expressed in much of his poetry, and perhaps denotes his lack of presence in the sonnet, which Jones suggests presents a sense of constraint, demonstrated by ‘repeated imagery of stagnation’.
Sidney is well known for experimenting with Petrarchanism, and the utilization and deviation from Petrarchan tropes are vital in describing the different emotional states that Astrophel experiences throughout the sequence. In sonnet 27, the religious use of Petrarchan meter is significant when comparing rhythm within Astrophel and Stella. Sonnet 86 is one of six sonnets written in alexandrines, and the deviation from the adhering Petrarchan meter is vital in denoting a changing mood within the sequence. Stella becomes enraged as a result of discovering Astrophel’s unwanted advances towards her, and the continual enjambment creates an uneasy rhythm as the speaker expresses confusion at Stella’s abrupt change of mood. Therefore, Sidney’s consistent use of Petrarchan meter in sonnet 27, when contrasted against the distant tone of the octet, constructs a powerful rhetoric which only enhances the sense of infatuation that Astrophel feels towards Stella. Furthermore, Gavin Alexander argues that the rigid sonnet form offers a desired discipline, which is more powerful in denoting emotion than raw and untamed passion.
A doting male lover is a typical feature within Petrarchan poetry. Astrophel’s poetic worship of Stella is pre-empted in the previous sonnet, where he becomes fixated on her eyes as ‘stars’. This idea of wooing is continued into sonnet 27, and the assonated words ‘doom’ and ‘rumour’ add a smoothness to the lines, mirroring Astrophel’s infatuation.
Yet, Sidney does not exclusively stick to Petrarch’s model and uses 15 variants of rhyme throughout Astrophel and Stella. This sonnet is no exception of Sidney’s exploration of the mode: which attaches the much more English conclusion of a rhyming couplet, demonstrating Sidney’s ability to manipulate the form to it’s limits. Additionally, a typical Petrarchan sestet is divided into two tercets, by both thought and punctuation. Sonnet 27 is remarkedly rare, in that Sidney does not make a strong break after line 11, and instead runs his argument over the whole sestet, and his ability to reinterpret rather than purely reflect Petrarchan paradigms has been widely admired by critics. T
he volta at line 9 anticipates a new tone of realization as the speaker admits a bigger fault than pride: ‘ambition’ (l.11). The use of caesura slows the pace of the poem, and the speaker’s thoughts become more cohesive, highlighted by the end-stopped lines. This suggests that Astrophel’s alertness only regains when focussed on Stella, reflecting the Petrarchan trait of presenting Astrophel as being relentlessly driven by an overpowering desire. The verb phrase ‘I confess’ (l.11) provides a personal insight into Astrophel’s thoughts, a sense of intimacy which is foregrounded in the 1591 facsimile, where brackets are arranged around phrases in order for the lines to appear as follows:
‘Yet pride (I thinke) doth not my soule possess,
(Which lookes too oft in this unflattering glass)’ 
The brackets indicate a commentated demeanor, and imply the speakers sense of self-awareness, which is absent in the distant tone of the octave. The careless dismissal of his acquaintances as ‘to them’ (l.4) suggests a careless attitude to those around him, accentuated further by Astrophel being ‘unseen’ and ‘unheard’ (l.13) to his friends. These similarly syllabic words support the inward theme of the poem and could relate to Sidney’s withdrawal from his own social circles in 1580 leaving the court for a year due to temporary disfavour. It is here that Sidney began to write his greatest works, including Astrophel and Stella and A Defence of Poesy.
Sidney provides a refreshing interpretation of Petrarch’s original model, whilst including typical tropes of desire and an unobtainable female figure. Similarly, the paradoxical states of desire and hopelessness perfectly capture Petrarchanism and create a powerful rhetoric which constructs Astrophel’s outward appearance. Sidney subtly expresses his own personal disillusionment with the Elizabethan court, allowing readers and critics an insight in Sidney’s personal life, which may have been premeditated through Astrophel’s poetic voice.
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 Gordon Braden, ‘Sixteenth Century Poetry; An Annotated Anthology’ (USA, John Wiley & Sons, 2004) p.357-358
 William G Madsen, Todd W Furniss, Richard B Young, ‘Three Studies in the Renaissance: Sidney, Jonson, Milton.; Ben Jonson’s masques.; ‘English Petrarke: a study of Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella.; The idea of nature in Milton’s poetry’, (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1958) p.20
 Michelle M Sauer, ‘The Facts on File Companion to British Poetry Before 1600’, (New York, Infrobase Publishing, 2009) p.28
 S.K Heninger, ‘The Subtext of Form in the English Renaissance’ (USA, Pennsylvania University Press, 1994) p.178
 Arthur F Marotti, ‘“Love Is Not Love”: Elizabethan Sonnet Sequences and the Social Order’ ELH 40 (1982) p.405
 Katherine Duncan Jones, ‘Sir Phillip Sidney: A critical edition of the major works’ (London, OUP Oxford, 2008) p.xii
 Gavin Alexander, ‘Writing After Sidney: the literary response to Sir Phillip Sidney 1586-1640’, (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006) p.205
 Gordon Braden, Sixteenth Century Poetry; An Annotated Anthology (USA, John Wiley & Sons, 2004) p.357  S.K Heninger, ‘The Subtext of Form in the English Renaissance’ (USA, Pennsylvania University Press, 1994) p.84
 Jonathon Smith, ‘Astrophil and Stella Sonnet 27’, Blogs Hanover Education, (2013)
 Philip Sidney, ‘Astrophel and Stella’ (London: 1591), STC 22536, sig. c2v
 Jane Whitaker, ‘An Old Arcadia: The Gardens of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke, At Wilston, Wiltshire’, Garden History, Vol. 42, No.2 (2014) p.142