A critical analysis

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A careful examination of the two points reveals significant variations in the subject, context, and author priorities. However, the use of literary research techniques is consistent between the two poems. Lucille Clifton was an African American poet who struggled throughout her life, from childhood to adulthood. In his poetry, Robert Herrick, on the other hand, demonstrated zeal for creation. The overarching theme of Herrick is that life is too short. He goes on to say that the world is amazing and full of wonderful love and that people should make the best of their little life on earth. It is clear that the two poets' views are diametrically opposed. However, the common subject of discussion emphasized by the two poets is life and celebration. The settings of the two poems are different. Lucille seems to write from personal experience in a lonely environment. She constantly express desires to have people accompany her to celebrate her victory. On the other hand, Herrick is writing in an imaginative Rose garden with flowers that blossom.

The theme of Lucille_x0092_s work includes: Triumph of the human spirit against the tide of hardship and adversities. Racial identity, liberation, and freedom are other major themes that Lucille expresses in her work. From the first line Won't You Celebrate with Me? the poem implies a life worth celebrating after a spell of misfortunes. Lucille emphasizes that she is nonwhite and born in Babylon to underline her racial identity of African America. Although her poem is a reflection of personal life experiences; the theme of race is representative of many other African Americans that suffered the extremes of racial discrimination. Despite a life of struggle, Lucille expresses spiritual liberation and freedom that is stronger than the adversities. Herrick on his poem emphasizes the need to explore youth stage as its vibrancy, energy, and beauty last for only awhile. Theme of time, mortality, man and nature, and marriage dominate in Herrick_x0092_s poem. In stanza 1, line 4 and stanza 3, line 4, the poet emphasizes that life of humans is time bound. He emphasizes that time is irreversible and each moment counts. Herrick is apparently addressing the young virgins, to make use of the prime age and settle for marriage (Stanza 4, line 3 & 4). Like flowers that blossom and wither, the virgins must exploit their prime of beauty to get married before they age and become unattractive. Virgins are compared to flowers, they blossom and wither as man grow and die (Stanza 1, line 1&3). This brings out the theme of natural world and its influence on humanity.

Herrick uses several objects as tools of symbolism. The flowers, the sun, temperature, youth and age are all used for symbolism. The first stanza talks about flowers in its entirety. In essence, the poet uses the life cycle of flowers symbolically to emphasize the shortness of human life and the necessity of seizing any opportunity. As the _x0093_sun_x0094_ moves across the sky, it gets closer to setting. The sun_x0092_s movement is symbolic to virgins_x0092_ aging and closeness to expiry with time (Stanza 2). The poet calls the sun _x0093_glorious lamp of heaven _x0093_ ,where the lamp is used as a metaphor for the sun as it lights up the sky just like the lamp lights up a room(Stanza 2,line 1). Temperature has been used metaphorically to emphasize the vigor, vibrancy, health and youthfulness. The poet emphasizes that the virgins need to make most out of their prime age. The young people need to adventure, interact and marry. Young age is associated with warm blood while aging steadily brings coldness and physical deterioration (Stanza 3, line 2). The speaker associates youth with good health and life rather than ill-health and death. The virgins are told to gather their _x0093_rosebuds_x0094_ when they are still young and the last stanza shows that rosebuds are metaphorical to _x0093_marriage_x0094_.

Herrick uses lovely words to express his ideas. His diction is blended with an enthusiastic tone. He uses the relevant choice of words that relate to romance and the beauty of life. Lucille is selective in her choice of words to emphasize her struggles and triumph. The flawless emphasis on her past into the present helps the reader to understand the poem.

In the poem of Lucille, repetition is evident. _x0093_Celebrate_x0094_ is repeated to emphasize the speaker_x0092_s triumph against struggles and the pleasure to share in her joy. Lucille also uses rhetoric statements to invite reader to join in her celebration, _x0093_Won_x0092_t you celebrate with me_x0094_ (line 1). There is contrast and juxtaposition in Lucille_x0092_s poem. For instance, the tone and objectivity of the speaker tells different things. The speaker says, _x0093_Come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me_x0094_, portraying victory and confidence against persistent life struggles. A strong metaphorical use is notable, _x0093_Starshine and Clay_x0094_ representing attractive (white race) and Unattractive (Blacks) respectively (line 9).The tone of the speaker emphasize mixed feelings of a triumph and dissatisfaction with the society. The speaker says, _x0093_Come celebrate with me_x0094_ to express victory, but continues, _x0093_I had no model_x0094_, showing her struggle without societal support.

The two poets_x0092_ thematic development revolves around life. The reality of time and mortality is Herrick_x0092_s basis of argument, while Lucille addresses the strength of human_x0092_s inner spirit and its triumph over social struggles.


To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time Robert Herrick, 1591 _x0096_ 1674

Won_x0092_t you celebrate with me by Lucille Clifton

December 15, 2022

Literature Sociology



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