Barnfield, Richard


Barnfield, Richard
(1574-1629)
   Elizabethan poet, born at Norbury, Shropshire, he graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1592. He formed an intimate friendship with the poets Thomas Watson and later Michael Drayton. In 1594 he published his first volume, The Affectionate Shepherd, a pastoral based on the second eclogue of Virgil, describing the love of Daphne for Ganymede. Early in 1595 he published another volume, Cynthia, also addressed to Ganymede. Some of the poems attributed to Shakespeare are thought to have been composed by Barnfield. He has the distinction of being the only Elizabethan poet, other than Shakespeare, to have addressed love sonnets to a man, as in The Affectionate Shepherd, in which he finds it sad that it is not the done thing to "love a lovely lad." Some of his other poems: "A Comparison of the Life of Man," "A Shepherd's Complaint," "Against the Dispraisers of Poetry," "As It Fell Upon a Day," "Cherry-lipped Adonis...," "Daphnis to Ganymede," "The Complaint of Chastity," "The Nightingale," "To His Friend Master R.L., in Praise of Music and Poetry."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Elizabethan Lyrics. Norman Ault, ed. William Sloane Associates, 1949. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Elizabethan Sonnet (www.sonnets.org). The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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