Follow by Email

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Leadership Election Bo Poem by Michael Drayton and myself (temporary post)

The second book of my The English Strain project (see below for the first and for more details) is entitled Bad Idea and it is a re-working of the whole of Michael Drayton’s sequence Idea; that’s 64 poems (with the addition of its ‘Address to the Reader of these Sonnets’). I’ve been at it since July 2018, one a week (more or less).  

I’m posting the poems temporarily, so there is only ever one at a time on this blog.

So this page (which has been accessed a lot) remains, but the poem has gone. But you're in luck. A more recent poem is available here

Poor old Drayton is somewhat out of print at the moment, though I have found a ‘Poly-Olbion’ project online, (the whole epic is online, which is refreshing), and his fine sonnet sequence ‘Idea’ (the 1619 version) is available online, including the one I’ve just translated above; have a look at both, the latter being:

Drayton, Michael. ‘Idea.’ in Arundell Esdaile, ed. Daniel’s Delia and Drayton’s Idea.
London: Chatto and Windus: 1908. 67-141; online at Luminarium:

You know, if you’ve seen these temporary posts before, that you may read about the whole ‘English Strain’ project in a post that has links to some other accounts, and earlier parts, of this work: hereThat was 100 poems long. But I didn’t stop there though. The most recent instalment of it, Hap: Understudies of Thomas Wyatt’s Petrarch is now available from Knives Forks and Spoons here:

I write about my sonnets generally here, and here and see here and here for more on my Petrarch obsession, which ‘The English Strain’ project into motion.

There are more excerpts from The English Strain in The Robert Sheppard Companion:

Links to a number of the published poems from Non Disclosure Agreement (the last part of the proposed book of The English Strain) may be accessed here:

I’m pleased to say three poems from Bad Idea have now appeared in Monitor on Racism. Patricia Farrell’s two images of Bo (now he’s an important figure again!) accompany them. One here. Find the other at: