Theme of Love
Sir Philip Sidney’s poem “Loving in Truth” (Sonnet 1) from “Astrophel and Stella” has love as its main theme. Though it is not a typical Petrarchan sonnet in its metrical pattern, in its theme of love it resembles works of Petrarch and Ronsard. The poet-speaker here expresses not only his deep passion of love for his beloved Penelope Devereux but also his feeling of pain as his love is unreciprocated by his lady. In order to entertain his lady he is ready to bear even more pain. The poet seems to be leaving no stones unturned to get her attention and favour. That is where his efforts of writing a poem comes forth. He hopes that his pain would give her pleasure and make her interested to read his verse, and that way he would finally be able to win her heart.
Genuineness of Art
Sidney also highlights the theme of genuineness of poetry, or any art form for that matter. The speaker is trying hard to express his love for his mistress in his verse but finds it difficult to find suitable words to convey his feelings and emotions. He is so engrossed in love with his ladylove and also having such pain in the lack of her attention that his brain has become barren and he tries to borrow words from other poets’ works. Finally, he realises though that poetry comes from one’s inner mind. You cannot succeed in any creative work by solely imitating others. It needs true poetic inspiration to write a poem and the words should come rather spontaneously from your heart.