chapter  6
10 Pages

Poetry & Magic

I thought no more about this, because I was preoccupied with the idea that the Birthday Letters were Ted’s Eroici Furori-a sequence of passionate love poems such as were considered to be the crowning achievement of a Renaissance magus like Giordano Bruno, with whose work Ted was very familiar. Love, for Renaissance Hermeticists and for Platonic Neoplatonists like Bruno, was “the living virtue in all things, which the magician intercepts and which leads him from the lower things to the supercelestial realm by divine furor” (Yates 272). It was a means of understanding, ordering and, ultimately, influencing things in our world. Bruno published De gli Eroici Furori in England in 1586, but it is a cryptic text full of magical symbolism, and very different to Birthday Letters. It was dedicated to Sir Philip Sidney, whose English love poetry is, however, similar in some ways to Ted’s and has itself been attributed (although contentiously) to the inspiration of divine furor.