Thursday, September 30, 2010

Harper's calls de Vere poem " . . . one of the true masterpieces of the Elizabethan era"

In a comment about a 2005 Emma Kirkby/Fretwork CD titled, William Byrd: Consort Songs, a Sept. 26, 2010 post at Harper's Magazine blog attributes the Elizabethan poem, "My mind to me a kingdom is" -- often attributed to Sir Edward Dyer (1550-1607) -- to Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford (1550-1604). J. Thomas Looney in his 1921 edition of The Poems of Edward de Vere ascribed the poem to Oxford. The Harper's post is titled:  Oxford -- My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is. The un-named poster says of the Oxford poem:
This poem is one of the true masterpieces of the Elizabethan era, understandable on many levels: as a sanctuary of conscience, as a statement of Calvinist precepts, as a dissertation on contentment, as a praise of the powers of imagination and invention. William Byrd’s setting of the Oxford poem is one of the finest English art songs of the Elizabethan era. A number of excellent recordings exist, but there is as yet nothing posted to YouTube. Of the recordings, the performance of the inimitable Emma Kirkby, on this Fretwork CD is surely the best.
 Harper's Magazine has published articles on the Shakespeare authorship question including an article by Charlton Ogburn in 1972, and in April 1999 the magazine devoted an entire section titled The Ghost of Shakespeare to the topic.

Note: Oct. 5 2010
Andrew Sullivan quotes this Harper's article and the entire "My Mind . . ." poem in his Oct. 3, 2010 post on his The Daily Dish blog in The Atlantic, "Poem for Sunday":

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