Poetry, unlike any other kind of literature has powers which transcends nature itself. For some unknown reason words come together to form beautiful rhythm and meter describing things that were almost impossible to explain. Sydney discusses how poetry is made to discuss topics like nature and religion, those kinds of topics which are sometimes difficult to comprehend. He goes even further to talk of the famous and noteworthy philosophers and how they too were poets, and their words which sounded nice and pleasant to the ear, had great power behind them. Poetry has the ability to teach virtues and vices and a poem is not just rhymes and metaphors/similes, but also lessons on morality. “…which I speak to show that it is not rhyming and versing that maketh a poet-no more than a long gown maketh a advocate and no soldier. But it is that feigning notable images of virtues, vices, or what else, with that delightful teaching, which must be the right describing note to know a poet by…” (Sydney, 87.) A poem is a lot more than pretty sounding words in a rhyming scheme. There is a lot hidden in those words.
For instance, Chaucer’s tales serve as the perfect example of poetry which serve a purpose, specifically teaching some kind of lesson. However, the Miller’s prologue and tale is mostly satirizing the knight’s tale on courtly love while simultaneously bringing up to the host and us readers the differences among the classes. Now the Nun’s Priest Prologue, Tale, and Epilogue is more of a fable than the Miller’s. The moral of the story is that flattery is not to be meant to be taken seriously, and you must never trust a flatterer. Although the lesson is clear it is difficult to take the poem seriously, since it is about a chicken and a rooster. It was almost as if Chaucer was mocking serious more serious fables, especially since it is the Nun’s priest telling this story.
Although poetry is powerful and has the ability to convey important messages to the reader, it can also be made fun of and be taken less seriously than other kinds of literature. Sydney though, was a profound fan of poetry, and Chaucer used his poetry to open up about the corruption among the supposed moral characters, including those who were religious. Poetry is a weapon in literature. An extremely powerful weapon.