Amour 46: “Vere: in secret silence.”

Michael Drayton, Sonnets, 1594, Amour 46, pltxtFig. 1

Michael Drayton, Sonnets, 1594, Amour 46, Vere, secret silence.Fig. 2

   “Vere, in secret silence. Poet, closet.” “E.C.O.” = Edwardus Comes Oxoniensis.

   In Elizabethan English, the word “closet” (from late 14c. Old French), meant a room for quiet study and meditation; an inner room, secret room, a sanctuary. Given the poem’s focus on secrecy. and its value to Vere as a poet, the ciphertext reflects the “image”, a “mirror” reflection of Vere, as a concealed poet, not able to reveal himself to public view; a writer who must create in the privacy of his inner, secret chamber, only to reveal himself in a ciphertext, hidden from all except “those in the know”. In a real sense, Oxford had write in the privacy of his chamber, publishing his work under the cloak of various pen names.

V. VIII. MMXV       

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