The Lighter Side of Machiavelli

“Go and catch a falling star, get with child a mandrake root…”. This begins John Donne’s poem, and another writer created another literary work a century before, that dealt with a virtuous woman, and with the magical mandrake plant. So begins John Donne’s Song, a poem that was probably written early in the 17th century. The poem lists […]

The Brownings: poets abroad in Florence

Joe Gartman pays a visit to the home of the Brownings and reminds us of their path to love and fame…  The courtship of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning may be the most thoroughly documented in history, because it was conducted almost entirely by letter. And Robert was certainly a very impetuous wooer; in his very […]