Memory and Material in Early Modern England

Memory and Poetry

Memory and materiality were frequently intertwined in Renaissance poetry. Poets grappled with the material conditions of preserving their poems (particularly the circulation of poems in manuscript or print) and the popular materialist understandings of how poetry entered the mind and was preserved in physical memory. This section features both poets and prose writers influenced by them, including Phyllis Wheatley, Robert Burton, and Edmund Spenser, whose poetry reveals the complicated, often ambivalent attitude Renaissance poets had toward the relationship of memory and materiality. 



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