As a diplomat in Renaissance Europe, and a luminary at the court of Henry VII, Sir Thomas Wyatt wrote in an incestuous world where everyone was uneasily subject to the royal whims and rages. Wyatt had himself survived two imprisonments in the Tower as well as a love affair with Anne Boleyn, and his poetry - that of an extraordinarily sophisticated, passionate and vulnerable man - reflects these experiences, making disguised reference to current political events. Above all, though, Wyatt is known for his love poetry, which often dramatizes incidents and remembered conversations with his beloved, with an ear acutely sensitive to patterns of rhythm and colloquial speech. Conveying the actuality of betrayal or absence, and the intense pressure of his longing for a love that could be trusted, these are some of the most haunting poems in the English language.
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