Carpe Diem Through the Eyes of Robert Herrick

Carpe Diem Through the Eyes of Robert Herrick

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Throughout centuries there have been many poets writing about seizing the day. Robert Herrick is a poet who had bold and divergent views of ‘carpe diem’ which are age, love, and just living because one does not have much time.
“The age is best which is the first,” (Line 11). In Robert Herrick’s poem, ‘To The Virgins to Make Much of Time,’ he focuses on the significance of youth. Age is something very important to him. He lets the reader know that if one does not do things while their bodies are strong and juvenile then they have not seized the day. They did not put their good years to use. “When youth and blood are warmer; But being spent, the worse, and worst..” (Line 12 and 13). He believes one has more beauty their youth. Herrick lets the readers know that they have better chances to find love or marry while they are young. He just wants the readers to take advantage of their lives while they are younger because he is not of his ‘first’ years and knows what it is like to look back and regret not living life to the fullest.
Robert Herrick was a poet of the 16th and 17th century. He was born August 24, 1591 in London. Herrick was a man expected to do much by his family. His dad, Nicholas Herrick, died in 1592, a year after Herrick was born. Nicholas did not die of disease, he committed suicide the day after he made out his will. “By the will Robert and William Herrick were appointed ‘overseers,’ or trustees for the children.” (Life of Herrick). Herrick was left with many responsibilities and lived up to them for a while as best as he could. Herrick did not want to stay in the family business though so after a while of doing what he needed to do Herrick, “ making the best of his losses, he bade farewell to Dean Prior, shook the dust of ‘loathed Devonshire’ off his feet, and returned gaily to London, where he appears to have discarded his clerical habit and to have been made abundantly welcome..” (Life of Herrick). He realized how much time he had wasted doing things he did not really enjoy doing. Herrick was a guy who wanted more of a thrill and you can see that in his poem, ‘To the Virgins to Make Much of Time.

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’ He is telling these virgins to live and marry while they are young and beautiful. Something he wishes he could have done. “Herrick remained unmarried ….. but lived and died a bachelor.” Many girls around was more thrilling to him.
“I dreamed this mortal part of mine Was metamorphosed to a vine, Which crawling one and every way..” (Line 1, 2, and 3). Robert Herrick shows his lust and human craving of love from women in his poem, “The Vine.” He wants the readers to think that they need that love and affection before they die. The reader should seize the day and go after their wants and sexual desires. Herrick uses these thoughts in many of his poems and “To the Virgins to Make Much of Time,” he also pushes the idea of love on the reader. “Then be not coy, but use your time, And while ye may, go marry;” (Line 13 and 14). Robert Herrick’s main thoughts are towards those of young virgins. He thinks one should live their life and find love while they are young and not just find love, but marry and know how to be affectionate with their lover. “Her belly, buttocks, and her waist By my soft nervelets were embraced.” He has not done these things himself, but has imagined them and wants all his readers seize the day by making the most of it and finding love.
Carpe diem is all about seizing the day and to do that you have to make the most of the time you have. “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old time is still a-flying;” (Line 1 and 2). In quite a few of Herrick’s poems, he makes the reader feel like they do not have much time to do the things he is talking about in his poems. “Tomorrow will be dying” (Line 4). This is a symbol in conjunction with the previous line “And this same flower that smiles today” (Line 3). The idea that a flower can, and will soon die in order to reinforce the message (carpe diem) in, “To the Virgins to Make Much of Time.”


Works Cited

“Robert Herrick: The Vine.” Robert Herrick: The Vine. N.p.,n.d. Web 06 Feb. 2014.
“Robert Herrick. To The Virgins to Make Much of Time. [Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May”].
N.p.,n.d. Web. 06 Feb 2014.
“‘Life of Herrick’ by Alfred W. Pollard, 1891.” “Life of Herrick” by Alfred W Pollard, 1891. N.p.,n.d.
Web 06 Feb. 2014.
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