Former poet laureate recognizes Mary Sidney as poet

Robert Pinksy, former poet laureate, wrote a wonderful article about Mary Sidney as a poet and translator, and appreciates that she inspired John Donne. He reads aloud one of the psalms she versified, Psalm 52.

Psalm 52 at

Not long ago, Joyce Carol Oates made a reference to Mary Sidney having written Shakespeare, in the New York Times Sunday Book Review:

Q: If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you want to know? Have you ever written to an author?

A: We would probably all want to meet Shakespeare—or so we think. (We could ask the man if he’d really written all those plays, or if, somehow, he’d acquired them from—who?—Sir Philip Sidney’s sister, perhaps? Wonder what W.S. would say to that.) Some of us have fantasized meeting Emily Dickinson. (The problem is, would either W.S. or E.D. want to meet us? Why?)

Joyce Carole Oates at

Let’s hope that Oates and Pinksy are talking to each other!