Monday, December 2, 2019

The Seventeenth Century Lyric Poems, Such As Robert Herricks Cavalier

The seventeenth century lyric poems, such as Robert Herrick's Cavalier poem "Counsel to Girls," and Andrew Marvell's metaphysical poem "To His Coy Mistress" are similar in many ways; yet also contrast in some aspects. These poems of love and life can be summarized in the quote, "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still afyling..." from "Counsel to Girls." This quote embodies the theme of Carpe Diem shared in these poems. Robert Herrick's "Counsel to Girls" is a Cavalier poem written in the seventeenth century. In the poem, the speaker is an elderly person with life experience. The speaker is talking to a younger woman about life and love. The speaker tells the younger person to enjoy life while she can, because it will go away. In this lyric poem, several instances of personification are used, such as the "Lamp of Heaven." The lamp, or sun, is personified as life. The poet uses the sun's positions to represent phases of life. Sun rise is youth and sun set is death, which is coming quickly. The overall theme of this poem is Carpe Diem. Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" is a passionate metaphysical poem. Marvell, the speaker is attempting to get a young woman to stop being coy. He tries to get her to love him and personifies their love growing like vegetables. Marvell also personifies time when he says that time slowly eats away love. He wants her to seize the day and love him in return. Both poems are similar and unlike in many aspects. Both have similar Carpe Diem themes. Both poems also deal with a form of unrequited love. Also, the two poems share the same genre as lyric poems. The lyric poems also stress the value of youth. The quote, "Time's winged chariot hurrying near..." from "To His Coy Mistress" means that time cannot last forever, that the subject should enjoy her youth and seize the day. From "Counsel to Girls," the quote, "Tomorrow will be dying," is the same overall idea that Marvell uses in "To His Coy Mistress." Although similar in some ways, the poems also contrast in several ways. The tone in "To His Coy Mistress" is much more urgent than the light-hearted tone of "Counsel to Girls." Both of these poems use different speakers also. Marvell uses himself in his metaphysical poem, but in most Cavalier poems the speakers are often a person with experience in life and the obstacles of love. Although very similar in many ways, there is still a fine line between Cavalier and metaphysical poetry.

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