Ben Jonson: To Penshurst (1761 words)


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Ben Jonson’s “To Penshurst” stands as the exemplar of the small, but important, country house poem genre, particularly popular in England during the first half of the seventeenth century. In 1616 Jonson published a folio of Works of Benjamin Jonson, a compilation of his drama, masques, and a collection of poetry titled The Forest. The second poem in The Forest, “To Penshurst”, praises the estate of Robert Sidney, a member of an aristocratic and literary family of writers and patrons, and presents a world that functions free of struggle or even labour. In “To Penshurst” the animals willingly and happily sacrifice themselves for the feast, to which everyone is invited: “all come in, the farmer and the c…

Citation: Beskin, Anna . "To Penshurst". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 March 2013 [, accessed 19 June 2021.]

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