"Googe Is Scrooge": Barnaby Googe and Poetic Asceticism
When we examine the tradition of Renaissance poetry in England, our attention diverges mainly into two eras: the pioneer years of Henry Surrey and Thomas Wyatt and the years of the golden poets like Sidney and Spenser. Observing more closely, we may note that there is a gap, nearly thirty or forty years long, between these two eras and come to learn that poets like George Gascoigne, Barnaby Googe, George Turberville, and Edward De Vere fill that gap. These plain-style poets, as they are sometimes called, seem to endorse the poetic style, subject matter and aesthetic assumption that set them apart from Surrey and Wyatt as well as from late sixteenth-century poets like Sidney, Campion, and Spenser. And because they deliberately eschewed the ornate and embellished style that the age deemed as the norm, their works have been valued, at best, as interesting and poor in general. As Yvor Winters points out, however, it is not that their works lack quality but that the standard with which we have been appraising them is seriously flawed: "We tend to find in poetry what we are looking for, and in the early sixteenth century most of us look, perhaps, not altogether consciously, for imperfect Sidneys" (93).
In the dedicatory epistle for The Zodiac of Life, Barnaby Googe preambles on the translated work and versifying in general and asserts that the ultimate goal of "virtuous writing is to provide "medicines of greatest force to the purging" of "vice and evil [in] life." Then he proceeds to speculate on the kind of writing that best serves that purpose:
Now, seeing that writers are the only means whereby this corrupting sore may be remedied... [there are] two only sorts of writers (all men knows), whereby this act is performed, the one writing in prose, the other in verse. Of these two whose force is greatest in persuading I think no man doth doubt, conferring the plain and smooth style of the one with the haughty and heavenly style of the other.... Worthily have the first sort attempted to give this remedy and minister this medicine.
But most worthily hath the second profited in the abating of this fire and assuaging of this flame. For what vice so odious can be remembered, or what crime so detestable may be reported, that they with sugared sentences have not assaulted, with godly instructions battered, and thundering words exiled? (Eclogues, Epitaphs, and Sonnets 132)
Although the quotation contains some pedestrian arguments, it reveals at once what Googe strove to accomplish with his own verse. More significantly, the preface explains and justifies Googe's distinctive poetics, why he repeatedly tackles "large" subjects in the narrow boundary of "plain and smooth style." The "haughty and heavenly style" that Googe dismisses as an ineffective tool to remedy "vice and evil life" in fact describes the courtly lyric in which most of Googe's contemporary poets were engaged in, and whose preoccupation with rhetorical concerns prescribed "sweet delighting fancies" even for the most serious issues. In the severely mannered courtly convention, as Alan Stephens points out, the subject and the attitudes are determined outside of the poetic text (19); the poet's task was to render as skillfully as he could the predetermined truth, employing the literary conventions that were available to him. The approach thus was everything, the language necessarily ornate and "haughty." Otherwise, the poet risked being assessed as unskillful or even "drab," which is exactly what happened, we find out. The line of so called drab poets, Grimald, Gascoigne, Googe, and Tuberville thus consists of those whose works were pushed aside based not on the quality of their poems but on their non-conformist practice. This is why assessing the tradition of English poetry as being handed down from Surrey and Wyatt to, skipping a whole generation, Sidney and Spenser is so superficial, especially in regard to the ascetic skills and disciplines that went into poets like Barnaby Googe.
As the above quotation reveals, Googe deliberately chooses to work against the grain of the norm: his poems project an unrelenting gaze into their subject until they find their own proper format and grasp their individualized truths out of the universal, often commonplace, themes. What Googe describes as "plain and smooth style," thus, must not be understood, especially in regard to his short poems, in any loose sense. His poems make it clear that Googe used the principle as a severe disciplinary measure in generating the needed effects. It seems to force him to pay as close an attention to the moves, both rhetorical and rhythmic, that he makes in his poems as any elaborate literary format would have done. And his short poems are created in the most economical way possible concerning both rhetoric and form, each rhetorical or rhythmic variation held back until precisely the right moment. Likewise, even within the narrow confines of plain language and smooth style, Googe further hones down his resources by working strictly with iambic meter and a spare use of its variation. The result of Googe's poetic asceticism is a "modulated power," to use Stephens' term, which amplifies the clean, hard reality of the issue at hand, even when the subject is as common as dejected love or friendship. This is a remarkable accomplishment, in any standard, which distinguishes Googe from the numerous poets of the Elizabethan era, and even from the "threshold" poets with whom Winters categorizes him.
Googe's inclination for commonplace themes is clearly revealed in nearly all the poems in the sonnet section of his Eclogues, Epitaphs, and Sonnets. The moral exhortation in "To Alexander Neville," for example, immediately pushes him against the force of the worn-out topic of female beauty as a baited hook from which men should stay away. The strength of the entire poem hinges on the last couplet which subverts the conventional and hence expected moral lesson with a subtle but unmistakably felt blow: "Neville, to thee that lovest their wanton looks:/Feed on the bait, but yet beware the hooks." How Googe deliberately corners himself by working with a proverbial topic, then works out of that dilemma with unwavering "smooth" style is, I think, what Winters is referring to when he concludes that "only a master of style can deal successfully in a plain manner with obvious matter" (96). The end, both the poem's and "his," is inevitable in Googe's scheme: from the start, the "little" fish seems both too naive and too inclined for "disport," with his "broad forth-stretched fins," the phrase getting the emphasis of the first spondee and the first multi-syllabic word. Trapped by "beauty's bait," and in the regular iambs locked in with the heavy end-stopped lines, even before he actually gets there, the fish/man consistently makes judgments that are too rash--"fleet," "In haste he hies," "By rash attempt," "thought a great relief"--to notice the "hidden hook" or to think about the consequences of the "bait so sweet":
So fareth man, that wanders here and there,
Thinking no hurt to happen him thereby;
He runs amain to gaze on beauty's cheer,
Takes all for gold that glitters in the eye,
And never leaves to feed by looking long
On beauty's bait, where bondage lies enwrapt,
Bondage that makes him sing another song,
And makes him curse the bait that him entrapped.
In addition to his typical employment of literal and clear language combined with the economical use of rhythmic variation, Googe works into this particular poem another recurring theme of his own, the conviction that human suffering is inevitable because temptation is always irresistible. He then turns the old trope of man as fish gazing upon the baited hook, and the moral lesson accompanying it, around to the final resignation that sinks in so definitely: "Feed on the bait." With the jarring effect of the trochee and the image of the hook already swallowed up in the man's mouth, the poem offers much stronger warning, if nothing else. It is also interesting to note how Googe immediately goes back to the regular iambs after "Feed on," since the rest of his final warning is simply restating the conventional wisdom. Thus, the drama of the whole poem builds towards the two words "Feed on" which, through Googe's control, seem to infuse enough power to rewrite the proverbial counsel itself.
Choosing to work with poetic bare necessities in re-presenting proverbial themes, Googe seems to have developed his own ways of getting the most out of those meager means. One of Googe's most effective strategies is the use of varied iambic meters. Googe will keep his iambs so smoothly and regularly, then break the beat at just the right moment: and since the variations are used so sparingly, they produce the fullest possible effects when they happen. To Alexander Neville hints at this also but "Of Money" is one that best demonstrates Googe's successful use of spondee, for example. Once again with his penetrating gaze that ruptures the fabricated surface of the conventional idiom with wit and gravity, Googe controls the "plain and smooth" style to the point of the immaculate. With the tone singularly grave and gravely ironic, the drama of the first line "Give money me, take friendship whoso list" rides into the poem on the force of the sprung rhythm which startles the reader with a clean and weighted blow. After the dramatic entrance of the poem, Googe stacks up each line in its stark plainness, the conventionality of the content in each line packed in by the end-stops, the pyrrhic ending of "adversity" and "misery" preserving the downbeat mood of his dejection. Then the line that releases the precise force of Googe's indignation: "Fair face show friends when riches do abound," which has seven accented feet out of the ten, providing a current which sweeps along the way the three unaccented feet, as Winters points out. The sprung rhythm thus engenders the speed and force with which the fair-weather friends abandon the friend in need, moving them along to the next line which soon resumes the regular iambs, almost pointing to an exit for these fleeting friends: "Come time of proof, farewell, they must away." The criticism of these unworthy friends, since it comes to us hidden behind Googe's praise of something as banal as money and is held back until the dead middle of the poem, gathers energy and room it needs from the controlled progression of the lines. Observed more closely, Googe's final praise of "Gold" remains necessarily and now predictably ironic: "Gold never starts aside but in distress,/ Finds way enough to ease thine heaviness." As definite as the conclusion might sound, it creates an unmistakable gap between its content and form because the lines are heavily varied metrically. The variations--two spondees, two pyrrhics, five iambs, one trochee--weigh the lines down, making them too clunky to achieve any sense of definitive authority. Consequently, the very last word "heaviness" with its pyrrhic ending resonates with a strong sense of pretended certainty; we are made to doubt, hence, if the heaviness has been indeed eased.
Googe's tendency to withhold the variation of iambs until the precise moment when it makes the content of the issue at hand bloom into its fullest potential is demonstrated also in "To Doctor Bale." Like "Of Money," it also starts with a spondee, "Good aged Bale," which is immediately worked into the sternly controlled iambic lines, until we come to the natural grammatical turning point "Give over now." It is no surprise that "Good aged Bale" and "Give over now" are the only lines that share the same number of syllables, same metrical scheme, and the common sound "G," since they carry in them the two main topics that Googe struggles with in the poem: his respect and gentle admonishment for the aged doctor who overexerts himself:
Good aged Bale, that with thy hoary hairs
Doth yet persist to turn the painful book,
O happy man that hast obtained such years
And leav'st no year on papers pale to look,
Give over now to beat thy wearied brain,
And rest thy pen that long hath labored sore.
For aged men unfit sure is such pain,
And thee beseems to labor now no more;
But thou I think Don Plato's part will play:
With book in hand to have thy dying day.
"Good aged Bale" and "Give over now" serve as the topic phrases for the first two sections of the poem, each poised solidly with its own topic to represent the poet's ambivalent attitudes toward the issue at hand. The conflict is amplified, more importantly, by the deliberate disharmony created by the content and rhythm of the lines: the second line, for example, creates a gap between what is said--that the doctor is overworked --and how it is said--a perfect iambic line; likewise the third and fourth lines contain feelings that are almost too emotional for the strict iambic feet, which not only dramatize Googe's divergent attention, but also prepare us for the powerful vent of the line "Give over now."
Hence, his respect for the old doctor's devotion and concern for his well-being clash with each other from the start; the inner conflicts seem to overwork the poet as well, forcing him to pause even as he urges the doctor "to rest thy pen that long hath labored sore," there the line coming to a full stop. The pause then provides Googe with just enough room to recharge himself as he goes on to make more explicit exhortation; more significantly, it pushes him to dig deeper into his emotions and to come to terms with the reality of the matter, arriving at the final couplet expressing Googe's resignation nested in the stabilizing force of the resumed iambs: "But thou I think Don Plato's Part will play/With book in hand to have thy dying day."
Among the scanty choices of rhetorical and rhythmic tools that Googe utilizes is caesura. Whether through punctuation or metrical pause, he employs caesura in much the same manner that he uses iambic meter, piling them in same lengths and places in each line, until he comes to the precise moment where he decides to drastically alter its location or abandon it altogether. There are two poems where his controlled use of caesura is most conspicuous: "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" and "The Harte Absent." In "Out of Sight, Out of Mind," again working with a proverbial theme, Googe stacks caesuras in thirteen lines of the eighteen-line poem, all of them more or less in the exact middle. Because of the repetition, these caesuras speed up the lines rather than slowing them down, hence allowing the lines from which Googe suddenly omits caesural pause--"The heavy heart breeds mine unrest," "Such pleasures rife shall I obtain/When distance doth depart us twain"--to gather greater emphasis since, on top of the newly introduced spondees and trochees, they are also made to slow down. Thus, the heart does its "breed[ing]" slowly and surely as "I" does his "obtain[ing]" of "pleasures rife:"
The oftener seen, the more I lust,
The more I lust, the more I smart,
The more I smart, the more I trust,
The more I trust, the heavier heart,
The heavy heart breeds mine unrest;
Thy absence therefore I like best.
The rarer seen, the less in mind,
The less in mind, the lesser pain,
The lesser pain, less grief I find,
The lesser grief, the greater gain,
The greater gain, the merrier I;
Therefore I wish thy sight to fly.
The further off, the more I joy,
The more I joy, the happier life,
The happier life, less hurts annoy,
The lesser hurts, pleasure most rife;
Such pleasures rife shall I obtain
When distance doth depart us twain.
This particular poem also demonstrates Googe's stoical approach to verse as an adequate container for human feeling. He combines a monotonous rhythm and rhyme scheme with a predominantly monosyllabic lines, pithy both in content and length; as he reiterates with these elements the mindless fashioning of such proverbial theme, even as he turns it around asking for absence rather than begging for presence, Googe appears to be parodying the very existence of his poem.
"The Harte Absent" is another poem that gains much from the poet's peculiar usage of caesura. Here, Googe once again piles on caesuras through commas and natural metrical breaks almost line after line. Mocking the conventional understanding of unfulfilled love and the spurious style with which contemporary verses invariably treated the subject, Googe begins with the lover inquiring "Swete muse tell me, where is my hart become." The lines which follow it exaggerate the stereotypical rendering of a broken heart:
For well I feele, it is from hence a way,
My Sences all, doth sorrow so benumme:
That absent thus, I can not lyue a Day.
I know for troth, there is a specyall Place,
Wher as it most, desyreth for to bee:
For oft it leaues, me thus in Dolfull case,
And hether commes, at length a gayne to me?
The exaggeration is further enhanced by the caesuras which occur so regularly that they soon lose their meaning, the loss accordingly undermining the integrity of what "I" says or feels. And since they often seem to denote the sighs of the broken-hearted lover, his sighs and indeed his lamentations repeat themselves in much too habitual a manner, which makes us wonder if Googe is not making a cultural criticism as well: has the culture taught "I" to respond in this manner when failed in love; how has poetry contributed to these rituals of pining? Hence, when the Muse appears to answer the rhetorical question, an event which is comical enough, in the second half of the poem, the varied placement of caesura in the first two lines heightens both the comical and grave quality of the criticism:
Woldest thou so fayne be tolde where is thy Harte?
Sir Foole, in place wher as it shuld not be:
Tyed up so fast, that it can neuer starte?
Tyll Wysdom get, agayne they Lybertye:
In place wher thou, as safe maist dwel swet daw?
As may the harte, ly by the Lyons paw:
And wher for thee, as much be sure they passe:
As dyd the master ons fo Esops Asse.
In all of the short poems, and even in his longer poems, one obvious trait that makes them distinctive is Googe's extremely stingy use of adjectives. It goes without saying that Googe in insisting on plain and smooth style necessarily exercises such asceticism; with the exorcism of adjectives, he exorcises cluttered and decorative emotions. As demonstrated above, the love epistle, one of the main conventions during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that dotes on ornate and "sweet" language, repeatedly becomes Googe's object of scorn and of dramatic overturn, as is the case in "To Mistress A." In this particular poem, Googe not only ridicules the conventional portrayals of rejected lovers, but by thrusting violent emotion of the situation to its extreme and turning the tables, he swiftly gets out of his position as a victim and achieves a kind of heroic stature and tells his beloved to go to hell: "And till that time, adieu to thee, God keep thee far from me,/And send thee in that place to dwell that I shall never see." Where Googe sends her at the end is in fact designated fairly early when the speaker compares her to Gorgon and beastly animals, the description of her consuming most of the adjectives used in the poem.
In the poem's thirty-six lines of septets, a long poem for Googe, only ten adjectives are employed, a lack which is made to coincide with the lack of tender emotions of the rankled lover. Predictably, then, of the nine adjectives that are used in the poem, most are employed to dramatize the cruelty of Mistress A.― "cruel heart," "lions wild," "fierce a mind," "ill-favored face," raging fiend," "foolish fact," "face...wrinkled" ― while the remainder are used to emphasize the speaker's wounded heart ― "I in wretched state," "me once so sad." What is even more interesting is the actual function of these adjectives; instead of ones that are shocking or "fresh," Googe deliberately uses those that have been so worked into the language that they no longer produce any modifying effect for the nouns as they are supposed to do. Rather, having been divested of their adjectival function, they become virtually a part of the nouns to form an allegorical momentum. Their effect seems particularly remarkable in that the woman herself becomes almost framed with these images, identified with and allegorized to the level of the same specification. The process is furthermore entirely appropriate since, in turning the courtly love into a vehicle for criticism of so many other related issues, Googe produces a warning rather than a love letter sent out with the vehement reality of human suffering involved in love affairs that most Petrarchan school poets would never dare to even dream of.
Through the successful fusion of plain style and cleanly disciplined gaze and hand, Googe thus repeatedly pushes the commonplace themes out of their common realm into particular truths about the subject that have not been captured before. Googe's plain and smooth style is thus a severely disciplined plainness and smoothness. Considering the discipline that went into the "plain and smooth" style of Googe, then, Douglas Peterson's assessment of Googe's poetic achievement seems particularly limiting when he states that
Googe appears deliberately to have set out to learn to write verse by imitating the poets in Tottel's Miscellany, especially Wyatt and Grimald, and his verse indicates how rigidly the early Elizabethan poet felt bound to those conventions which the Miscellany had established as proper for the treatment of specific subjects and themes.
Even though Googe's proverbial subjects and his stoical handling of the proverbial and the medium of early sixteenth-century poetry do not stray far from Wyatt's and Grimald's, his poems often resist being categorized with either of the poets' work because they create realities that are much more vigorously "real," and achieve this severe reality with and through a minimum of rhetorical ornamentation, an economy neither Wyatt nor Grimald--although Grimald hints at this--mastered to such an extent. Whether he is embracing a critical attitude towards conventional modes and themes or by grasping their inherent truth, his poetry rests its entirety on his understanding of the relation of language and experience, representation and reality. When the poet keeps his words clean and simple, literal, he is that closer to the truth of his subject, Googe insists. Accordingly in facing head on the social ills, the courtly mode, or the standard norm, Googe still manages to pay a boisterous impatience with its original, the language that channels it, and his own participation in the creative process (Stephen 16).
Googe's poetics is remarkable also in that he knew the odds against his reputation as an artist in breaking free from the fomulary anonymity characteristic of mid-century poetry and found himself creating unique and self-sustaining artifacts animated by a distinct and complex consciousness (Shiedly 51). The anti-Petrarchist school, between Surrey and Sidney, in this sense, was largely a school of experimentalists who worked with broad, simple and obvious, often proverbial, but of universal importance, themes, and exercised austere simplicity in feeling and rhetoric: the poet interested in his rhetoric as a means of stating his matter as economically as possible, and not, as are the Petrarchans, in the pleasure of rhetoric for its own sake (Winters 95). Googe's works exemplify the way in which these poets strove against the poetic standardization of their time.
It is ironic, but predictable in some sense perhaps, that Googe's explicit and implicit criticism of the rhetorical realm of poetry as the medium for dispensing feelings ultimately undercuts his own poetic endeavor. Poetry depends on a certain surrender to the decadence and luxury of rhetorical pleasure as the progression of English verse in the sixteenth and the following centuries may testify. Googe gave up writing verse after his Eclogues, Epitaphs, and Sonnets appeared in 1563, with the exception of "The Ship of Safeguard," which he wrote for his sister-in-law and published in 1569. Although such biographical information does not offer much critical perspective, the fact that Googe produced most of his poems and stopped writing them in his early twenties does raise questions about the relationship between his youthful views and how they came out and stopped coming out in his poems. His abandonment of verse, one might speculate, demonstrates the inevitable outcome of Googe's poetic asceticism, which, even with its brilliant achievement, required him of too severe a penury, which in turn seems to have etiolated the very existence of his poetry.
(Sookmyung Women's Univ.)
◈ Works Cited
Googe, Barnabe. Ecloques, Epitaphs, and Sonnets. Ed. Judith Kenney. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989.
Jones, Emery,ed. Introduction. Sixteenth Century Verse.Oxford: Oxford UP, 1991.
Peterson, Douglas. The English Lyric from Wyatt to Donne. Princeton:Princeton UP, 1967.
Sheidley, William. Barnabe Googe. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981.
Stephens, Alan. Ed. Selected Poems of Barnabe Googe. Westport:Greenwood Press, 1961.
Winters, Yvor. Forms of Discovery. Alan Swallow Press, 1967.
바나비 구지와 시적 금욕주의
영국의 르네상스 시의 전통을 연구할 때, 우리의 초점은 주로 두 시기로 모아진다. 즉 Henry Surrey와 Thomas Wyatt의 선도적(초창기) 시기와 Sidney와 Spenser와 같은 황금기 시인들의 시기이다. 보다 자세히 살펴보게 되면, 우리는 이 두 시기 사이에 거의 30~40년 간의 빈 공간이 있음을 알게되며, George Gascoigne, Barnaby Googe, George Turberville, 그리고 Edward De Vere가 이 공간을 채우고 있다는 사실을 알게 된다. 때때로 “평이한 스타일”(plain-style)의 시인들이라고 불리는 이 시인들은 그들만의 특유한 시적 스타일과 시의 주제 그리고 심미적인 가정들을 지지하고 있는 듯 해 보이는데, 이러한 것들이 바로 Sidney, Campion과 Spenser와 같은 16세기 후반의 시인들뿐만 아니라, Surrey와 Wyatt로부터 이들을 구분짓는 요소들이다. 이들이 당시의 시대가 규범이라고 간주해왔던 화려한 문체와 세련된 스타일을 의도적으로 피했기 때문에, 이들의 작품들은 기껏해야 흥미롭다거나, 대개의 경우는 보잘 것 없다는 평가를 받아왔다. 그러나, Yvor Winters가 지적하듯이, 이들의 작품이 질적으로 떨어지는 것이 아니라, 우리가 지금까지 이들 작품들을 평가하는데 사용해왔던 기준이 심각한 오류를 갖고 있다: “우리는 우리가 찾고있는 바를 시 가운데서 찾아내는 경향이 있으며, 16세기 초엽의 경우, 물론 모두 의식적으로 그런 것은 아니지만, 우리의 대부분은 불완전한 Sidneys를 찾고 있다” (93).
The Zodiac of Life에 대한 헌정서신에서, Barnaby Googe는 자신의 시의 주요 목표는 “삶 [속에 내재해 있는] 악과 부도덕함”을 정화하는데 필요한 가장 강력한 처방약들을 제공하는데 있다고 주장하며, Googe와 동시대에 살았던 시인들의 대부분이 관여했던 궁중서정시의 “오만한 스타일, 천상의 스타일” 그리고 달콤한 기쁨을 주는 환상들은 악과 부도덕함을 고치는데 효과적이 못하다고 주장하고 있다. 그는 의도적으로 당시의 관행들과 맞서 싸우기를 선택하고 있다: 그의 시들은 수사와 형식 모두에 있어서 가능한 한 가장 경제적인 방식으로 씌어졌으며, 수사와 형식을 극도의 명확함으로까지 정제해갔다. 시에 있어서 이러한 Googe의 금욕적인 자세는 결과적으로 “절제된 힘”으로 나타났으며, 이 힘은 문제가 된 이슈의 실상을 꾸밈없고 예리하게 밝혀 준다. 어떤 기준으로 보든지, 이것은 주목할 만한 업적이며, 이를 통해 Googe는 엘리자베스 시기의 수많은 시인들과 구별되어지며, 심지어 Winters가 Googe를 동일한 그룹으로 분류해 넣고 있는 “초엽의” 시인들과도 구별되어진다.
"Googe Is Scrooge": Barnaby Googe and Poetic Asceticism
When we examine the tradition of Renaissance poetry in England, our attention diverges mainly into two eras: the pioneer years of Henry Surrey and Thomas Wyatt and the years of the golden poets like Sidney and Spenser. Observing more closely, we may note that there is a gap, nearly thirty or forty years long, between these two eras and come to learn that poets like George Gascoigne, Barnaby Googe, George Turberville, and Edward De Vere fill that gap. These "plain-style" poets, as they are sometimes called, seem to endorse the poetic style, subject matter and aesthetic assumption that set them apart from Surrey and Wyatt as well as from late sixteenth-century poets like Sidney, Campion, and Spenser. And because they deliberately eschewed the ornate and embellished style that the age deemed as the norm, their works have been valued, at best, as interesting―and poor in general. As Yvor Winters points out, however, it is not that their works lack quality but that the standard with which we have been appraising them is seriously flawed: "We tend to find in poetry what we are looking for, and in the early sixteenth century most of us look, perhaps, not altogether consciously, for imperfect Sidneys" (93).
the dedicatory epistle for The
Zodiac of Life,
Barnaby Googe asserts that the main goal of his poetry is to provide "medicines
of greatest force to the purging" of "vice and evil [in] life," and that
the "haughty and heavenly style" and "sweet delighting fancies" of the
courtly lyric in which most of Googe's contemporary poets were engaged
are not effective in remedying vice and evil. He deliberately chooses to
work against the grain of the norm: his poems are created in the most economical
way possible concerning both rhetoric and form, honing them down to the
point of austere clarity. The result of Googe's poetic asceticism is a
"modulated power," which amplifies the clean, hard reality of the issue
at hand. This is a remarkable accomplishment, in any standard, which distinguishes
Googe from the numerous poets of the Elizabethan era, even from the "threshold"
poets with whom Winters categorizes him.