Let me start by saying how much fun I’ve had researching for A to Z. I know Greek myth plays a huge role in our culture, but I didn’t understand how much. I’ve been blown away. And with my daily posts, I hope you’ll be blown away as well.
Today’s post is centered around a poem by Sir Philip Sydney entitled Astrophel and Stella. I’d like to give you some background on the poem before I post it.The name derives from two Greek words, (aster) star, and (phil), and the Latin word (stella) meaning star. Astrophil, then, is the lover of stars, making Stella the star. Thus we have a love poem between the star and the lover of stars.
It is most true that eyes are formed to serve
The inward light, and that the heavenly part
Ought to be king, from whose rules who do swerve,
Rebels to nature, strive for their own smart.
It is most true that what we call Cupid’s dart
An image is which for ourselves we carve,
And, fools, adore in the temple of our heart
Till that good god make church and churchman starve.
True, that true beauty virtue is indeed,
Whereof this beauty can be but a shade,
Which elements with mortal mixture breed.
True, that on earth we are but pilgrims made,
And should in soul up to our country move;
True, and yet true that I must Stella love.
As for my personal interpretation, I believe Astrophel is attempting to come up with all the reasons he should not love Stella–his duty to God, to church, to his country. But in the end, with the line “I must love Stella” I believe we learn the true intentions of his heart. He must love Stella.
Love conquers all.
And that is all the explanation I will give. The rest I leave up to you, reader, and hope you will share in your comments what it means to you!