In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to some of the greatest poets of our literature.
Sir Walter Ralegh, poet, scholar, soldier and explorer, travel-writer, historian and favourite courtier of Queen Elizabeth I, was born in Devon around 1552, knighted in 1584, imprisoned twice in the Tower of London, where he wrote his History of the World, and executed in 1618. Many famous poems attributed to him, like “The Passionate Man’s Pilgrimage”, may not actually be his. But, like the many poems written to him by the Queen and others, they testify to what Ralegh stood for in the Elizabethan age, as a poet and a man.