John Suckling: Sessions of the Poets

(598 words)
  • Glyn Pursglove (University of Wales, Swansea)

Suckling's satirical account of some of his contemporaries (and himself) can be dated to 1637 on the evidence of a manuscript in the Cranfield Papers which carries the date “Septembr 1637”. In a letter of October 1637 George Garrard refers to a “Ballad made of the Wits sung to the King when he was in the New Forest” and this may well refer to Suckling's poem. In the manuscript of 1637 the poem is entitled “The Wits”; when printed in Fragmenta Aurea (1646) it carried the title “A Sessions of the Poets” and it is by this title that it has become best known (though the earlier title seems more likely to be authorial). It has been suggested that the poem's satirical presentation of what Dr. Johnson called “…

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Pursglove, Glyn. "Sessions of the Poets". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]