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TOPIC: Sonnet 19: anyone help with understanding this?

Sonnet 19: anyone help with understanding this? 7 years 7 months ago #3354

  • Mike thomas
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Hi everyone, just a quickie:

Sonnet 19, first few lines:

Deuouring time blunt thou the Lyons pawes,
And make the earth deuoure her owne sweet brood,
Plucke the keene teeth from the fierce Tygers yawes,
And burne the long liu’d Phaenix in her blood,

The question relates to line 2:

Is it the earth which devours her own sweet brood or is it the Lion's own sweet brood?

Or am I extra thick this evening?

regards all
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Sonnet 19: anyone help with understanding this? 7 years 7 months ago #3355

  • Joe M.
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hello again Mike

Helen Vendler, a fair authority one might say, has it analyzed as Crimes contra Naturum, or crimes against Nature ( the worst--as crimes go in the hierarchy of Renaissance sensibilities)
1. blunt the lion's paws
2. make the earth devour her own brood * as she puts it: de-Maternalizing Mother Earth
3. defang the tiger
4. kill the phoenix
"...acts directed against the "noblest" species [lion, tiger, phoenix, * earth's sweet children]..."
(italics mine)
"earth's sweet children"--maybe that's us--or us + everything else a la Gaia.
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Sonnet 19: anyone help with understanding this? 7 years 7 months ago #3356

  • Mike thomas
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Hi all

Thanks for the quick reply. It was of great help.

Best regards
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