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Terre's Brilliant Mines

Terre's Brilliant Mines

(p.41) Chapter 2 Terre's Brilliant Mines
Phillip John Usher
Fordham University Press

This chapter turns to a mid-sixteenth-century poetic text, the “Hymne de l’or” (Hymn to Gold) by French author Pierre de Ronsard. The poem is read here—recuperating in particular its “vision” of Terre that generations of critics have written off as a mere aside—as a poem ever conscious about gold’s exterranean origins and as a kind of poetic counterpart to nonpoetic texts about mining such as Georgius Agricola’s Bermannus (1500) and Vannoccio Biringuccio’s metallurgical treatise De la Pirotechnia (1540). After analyzing the “vision” of Terre in some detail, especially the way that Terre is described as always already containing not just gold, but mines, the chapter explores how Ronsard juxtaposes (in somewhat problematic ways) specific sites of extraction.

Keywords:   gold, mining, New World, Ronsard

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