Ben Johnson

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  • Topic: Ben Jonson, Rhyme, Poetry
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  • Published : February 10, 2013
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The poem I chose for my presentation is “ Song to Celia” written by Ben Jonson. Born in 1572 and lived till 1637. Jonson was a major literary figure of the Renaissance period and a contemporary of William Shakespeare. From 1605 to 1634, Jonson produced popular masques (works combining drama, song and spectacle) for the courts of James I and Charles I. He was granted a royal pension in 1616 and thus made, effectively, Poet Laureate of England. Jonson became one of the most successful writers of his era. Jonson’s most famous lyric poem , this poem : Song to Celia is better known as the popular English song “ Drink to me only with thine eyes”.

In the poem “ Song To Celia” Ben Jonson demonstrates his skill of using words to create emotion that exemplifies his love for a lady-the beauty and immortality of love being the theme of this poem. The poem is 16 sentences, throughout the poem Jonson establishes the speaker as a lover, the man who loves Celia dearly. The speakers subject is his lover Celia as indicated in the title of the poem. Yet without the indication in the title, Jonson reveals the audience as the speaker’s lover by discussing romantic topics such as kiss, wine and a rosy wreath. Through vivid imagery, the speakers attempting to convince his beloved Celia to return his love to him by demonstrating her love for hm. The theme of the beauty and immortality of love is embodied by the poem through its sensory imagery of loving acts and comparing Celia’s love to Jove’s Nectar, a rich immortal drink that’s drunk by the gods. An example would be the line “ Or leave a kiss but in the cup and ill not look for wine” meaning her love is stronger than any drink or the line “ The thirst that from the soul doth rise, doth ask a drink divine” meaning his soul only desires her love.

For poetic devices, the poem establishes a rhyme pattern of – ABCBABCB. For example the poem rhymes the last world of the line such as (eyes and rise), (mine and wine) and (cup and sup)....
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