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11/03/2018

Poetic style of Robert Herrick with especial reference to To Daffodils.

Discuss the poetic style of Robert Herrick with especial reference to To Daffodils.                                    Robert Herrick was a consummate artist, and he is regarded as one of the greatest of 17th century lyricists. The remark made by E. Legouis about Herrick's poetic art is indeed worth considering.             In discussing the style of a particular work of art we have to consider how his sentences, phrases, diction, sound, and rhythm contribute towards producing the effects desired by the writer.         In To Daffodils the poet desires to convey the idea of the transitoriness of things and beings of this world, and perhaps the fact that the more beautiful and delicate a thing is, the more transitory it is. The poem consists of two stanzas of equal length. The sentences, words, and phrases are built in such a way that the two stanzas become exactly similar in length, lines, meter and even syllables. For example, the first sentence of the first paragraph is:                  Fair daffodils, we weep to see                  You haste away so soon.         The first sentence of the second stanza contains  exactly the same number of lines and syllables.         The words though simple and ordinarily used in everyday life of a speaker of English, are very strong and rich in connotation. Words and phrases like  “weep”,  ”haste away”  ”summer’s rain” are very suggestive of the meanings they are used to convey.          The rhetorical figures are pathetic fallacy, epistrophe, metaphor and simile. The first sentence is an epistrophe,  “Until the hasting day/Has run/But to the even-song”, is a metaphor, and the whole of the second stanza is a simile. The figures of speech intensify the effects desired by the daffodils and human beings are similar in their short existence in this world.  The rhythm produced by the iambic metre of different number of foot in different lines is suitable for the music required for the theme of the poem.  The first lines of first and second stanzas are iambic teteameter with a variation, and the second lines are iambic trimeter. So are the lines 3,4,9,10,  iambic tetrameter and trimeter. The undulations in rhythm are produced by the different number of foot for different lines.            Sound devices help the music.  Alliteration is used heavily.  “As yet the early rising sun/Has not attained his noon”_  here the alliteration produced by the repetition of  ”s” and ”n” sounds is noticeable.  Again, in the sentence,  ”We have short time to stay, as you”  the repetition of  ”t” produces the desired effect.          The whole poem is conceived in symbolism. Daffodils stands for all beautiful things in the world, and human beings for all creatures.          Through these symbols the poem becomes a cosmic symbol of the transience of the whole of God's creation.           The stylistic devices adopted for the poem are deftly used, and make the poem a successful one.


                                Robert Herrick was a consummate artist, and he is regarded as one of the greatest of 17th century lyricists. The remark made by E. Legouis about Herrick's poetic art is indeed worth considering.   
       In discussing the style of a particular work of art we have to consider how his sentences, phrases, diction, sound, and rhythm contribute towards producing the effects desired by the writer.
       In To Daffodils the poet desires to convey the idea of the transitoriness of things and beings of this world, and perhaps the fact that the more beautiful and delicate a thing is, the more transitory it is. The poem consists of two stanzas of equal length. The sentences, words, and phrases are built in such a way that the two stanzas become exactly similar in length, lines, meter and even syllables. For example, the first sentence of the first paragraph is:
                Fair daffodils, we weep to see
                You haste away so soon.
       The first sentence of the second stanza contains  exactly the same number of lines and syllables.
       The words though simple and ordinarily used in everyday life of a speaker of English, are very strong and rich in connotation. Words and phrases like  “weep”,  ”haste away”  ”summer’s rain” are very suggestive of the meanings they are used to convey.
        The rhetorical figures are pathetic fallacy, epistrophe, metaphor and simile. The first sentence is an epistrophe,  “Until the hasting day/Has run/But to the even-song”, is a metaphor, and the whole of the second stanza is a simile. The figures of speech intensify the effects desired by the daffodils and human beings are similar in their short existence in this world.
The rhythm produced by the iambic metre of different number of foot in different lines is suitable for the music required for the theme of the poem.  The first lines of first and second stanzas are iambic teteameter with a variation, and the second lines are iambic trimeter. So are the lines 3,4,9,10,  iambic tetrameter and trimeter. The undulations in rhythm are produced by the different number of foot for different lines.
          Sound devices help the music.  Alliteration is used heavily.  “As yet the early rising sun/Has not attained his noon”_  here the alliteration produced by the repetition of  ”s” and ”n” sounds is noticeable.  Again, in the sentence,  ”We have short time to stay, as you”  the repetition of  ”t” produces the desired effect.
        The whole poem is conceived in symbolism. Daffodils stands for all beautiful things in the world, and human beings for all creatures.
        Through these symbols the poem becomes a cosmic symbol of the transience of the whole of God's creation.
         The stylistic devices adopted for the poem are deftly used, and make the poem a successful one. 

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