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Robert Herrick- Delight in Disorder

This poem is rather interesting as it parodies on women’s fashion and puts a wanton twist on it. The poem is in iambic tetrameter which a rhyme scheme that goes aabbcc, etc. In the first line, there is some irony since the word “sweet” is followed by “disorder”; the two words just don’t fit together but Herrick makes them fit. Sweet denotes something pretty and we would normally think orderly is implied as well but apparently not in this poem. This poem reminds me of a certain scene in the 1982 The Scarlet Pimpernel where Sir Blakeney condemns Chauvelin’s attire.

Corinna Going a Maying

This is long poem has perhaps is very stunning for its use of classical poetic language but also its simplicity; the lines seem as if they could be spoken by anyone for the simplicity of grammar. This poem has two central themes, the color and description of May Day and of the sin of sluggishly sleeping in on a beautiful day. Though I might agree with the poet’s sentiments on not sleeping in on such a beautiful day I doubt my peers would agree and they would most likely be like poor Corinna. There is yet another ironic or metaphysical element in this poem as in the previous poem. On line 5 he calls Corinna a “slug-a-bed”; this term though it is proper is hardly a pretty description or name for a beautiful young lady.

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

While this poem may not seem dangerous or sexual on the outset, certain words and phrases give this poem a sexual connotation. However, most of the poem is centered on seizing the day. Although it is geared more toward young women, the first line might be interpreted for men to gather rosebuds (a young bride) while you can. While rosebuds might have some kind of sexual connotation, the fourth line definitely has one. In that time period dying could mean literally dying or orgasm.  I wish that young people would read this poem and understand it to mean to get married young, even younger than most are marrying now.

Upon Julia’s Clothes

This very simple six line poem has a rather odd rhyme scheme for any seventeenth century poem. The rhyme scheme goes aaabbb which is unlike any other rhyme scheme I’ve ever seen. And do to the brevity of the lines, the meter is iambic tetrameter. This poem praises a woman for her beautiful clothing and the way in which she walks. I think it’s really cool that he describes her silk clothes as liquefaction. It is very interesting to think that the speaker is merely captivated by the undulating flow of her clothes and not herself. He never goes deeper into the more intimate and I’m sure more beautiful features of “Julia”.

Richard Lovelace- To Lucasta, Going to the Wars

The first time I heard this poem was in the movie Gods and Generals where Colonel Chamberlain (played by Jeff Daniels) and his wife recited the poem. This poem, despite its brevity, possesses an air of order and deep heartfelt sorrow. Each stanza is a well crafted sentence, a complete thought, which is broken at logical intervals with punctuation. This poem is very interesting as the male speaker “trades” his love for his wife for love of war and his country. It would seem odd to me that one would flee the sweet bliss of homely comfort and a wife for the harsh and bitter mistress of battle but then again, peace at home is often established by the work of war and the purchase of freedom. As Vegetius once said, “If you wish for peace, prepare for war”. I think the speaker had this in mind in the last line, “I could not love thee, dear, so much,/ Loved I not honor more.”

To Althea, from Prison

This poem also bears the same sense of order and logic as Lovelace’s other poem but this poem is much more favorable to love than the last. This poem is almost a rebuttal of one of Mary Wroth’s poems. Her poem spoke of how love is like slavery and how it tears two people down. This poem speaks of the exact opposite; the love in this poem liberates the spirit. There is some irony in the first stanza where the first few lines talk about love flying with unconfined wings (this speaks of liberty) but then in the last little bit of that stanza he talks about being tangled in her hair and fettered to her eye. That just seems like it’s the opposite of liberty.

Andrew Marvell- To His Coy Mistress

This poem has some immense hyperbole within its 46 lines and speaks of time and love.  This poem  has an understood call or command to his mistress to stop being coy. If they had all the time in the world then she could be coy and it wouldn’t matter. At first, lines 5-7 reminded me of the adage “the grass is always greener on the other side” but after contemplating it some more I found that the speaker just wishes to be with his love, that is why he is complaining. The biggest use of hyperbole is in lines 14-19. Within this section he wishes that he had hundreds of years to gaze a certain parts of her body. Although this is immensely unrealistic, I think every guy would want to do that.

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