More Metaphysical Poetry--Robert Herrick

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The early part of Robert Herrick's life is contemporary with Shakespeare. The latter with John Dryden. He truly spans several literary eras.

Upon Julia's Clothes
Robert Herrick

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see
That brave vibration each way free,
O how that glittering taketh me!

I've always been surprised at how effective this short piece is. It is one of a series of poems written to Julia, all of which are quite beautiful. This poem achieves part of its punch through the complete rhyming of each of its stanzas. But more of the effect simply comes through the image that is being recounted and the obvious affection of the poet for the subject. The idea of "liquefaction" of clothes is a powerful suggestion. This is one of those tropes that appeals to the mind's eye and leaves you to bring associations to the poem.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 5, 2002 6:18 AM.

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