Philip Sydney

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There are so many noble people in past history who I wish I had known. I love to read about them and imagine what it would be like to be their friend – more real than any friends I have today (and many times more faithful 😉. Right now, I am reading “A Defence of Poesy”, by one of these historical friends: the poet who created the English sonnet, Philip Sydney (1554-1586). These people were not merely writing poetry but creating a language. So many new words that we now regard as “everyday” were written by people such as this. I often feel that I was a poet in that era too – probably some troubadour who lived and loved with all his heart and then came to a sticky end. History repeats itself…

Philip Sidney lived for just 32 years but he did more in that short life than most people do in a life twice as long today. Hardly anyone has heard of him. Yet there are 2225 quotations from him in the Oxford English Dictionary. He invented many words and phrases (for English was still in it’s teenage at that time) such as “bugbear”, “dumb-struck”, “miniature”, “far-fetched”, “milk-white”, “honey-flowing”, “my better half”, “conversation” and many many more. Oh yeah! Those were the days! 🙂

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