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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: August 2019

Chapter 3 - ‘“Fool,” Said My Muse to Me’


This chapter turns to Propertius and Philip Sidney and, taking its cue from from Cynthia as the eroticised muse of Propertian poetry, and the scornful muse of Astrophil and Stella 1, explores metaliterary themes of poetic practice. Reading the muse as a figure for ideas of inspiration and creativity, for authority and canonicity, we consider how the selected texts negotiate, articulate and configure ideas about the nature, identity and cultural function of poetry in Augustan Rome and Elizabethan England.