The Pleasures and Uses of Sixteenth-Century Poetry.
Part I 1500–1558. Reading Early Tudor Poetry: Henrician, Edwardian, Marian.
The Poetic Style of Character: Plain and Eloquent Speaking.
The Crisis of the Reformation, or, What the Poet Sees: Self, Beloved, God.
The Poet’s Ecology of Place: Sky, Sea, Soil.
The Idea of a Poem: Elegy, Pastoral, Sonnet, Satire, Epic.
The Role of the Poet in Society: Skelton, Wyatt, and Surrey.
Part II 1558–1600. Reading Elizabethan Poetry.
The Poetic Style of Character: From Plain Eloquence to the Metaphysical Sublime.
What the Poet Sees, and the Advent of Modern Personage: Desire, Idolatry, Transport, Partnership.
The Poet’s Ecology of Place: Cosmos, Colony, Country.
Fictions of Poetic Kind: Pastoral, Sonnet, Epic, Minor Epic, Hymn.
The Role of the Poet in Society: Whitney, Spenser, and Marlowe.
Part III A Special Case.
11 Shakespeare: Voice, Perception, World, Form, Career.
Retrospective Poetry: Donne and the End of Sixteenth-Century Poetry.
“Highly useful in addressing the formal and generic concerns of sixteenth-century poets, and thus in demonstrating close reading, Reading Sixteenth-Century Poetry fails to address the equally important political and theoretical period discourses or the methodologies needed to address them. The unbalanced infatuation with authorial vocation and authorial perspectives thus limits the usefulness of the text. Cheney’s companion text may thus represent a more widespread return to traditional author-centered interpretive theories and a
turn away from poststructural approaches.” (Journal of the Northern Renaissance, 1 December 2012)
""A carefully selected bibliography that focuses on background sources as well as on primary works and significant critical material is a valuable supplement to the author's consideration of the poetry. Cheney develops his thesis clearly and makes an important contribution to Renaissance scholarship. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."" (Choice, 1 October 2011)