Herrick: Delight in Disorder Shows Delight in Life

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The lively figures of speech in Herrick's "Delight in Disorder" show his sensual delight in the little things in life. The oxymorons, animations, images, and paradox in this poem display the author's enjoyment of true uniqueness. The animations in "Delight in Disorder" show how the speaker sees the clothing as having a will of it's own that makes the outfit more "bewitch[ing]" (13). For example, the author cites a "tempestuous petticoat" and a "careless shoestring" as things that cause the woman's dress to be unique and intriguing (9, 10). Through his use of the animation "tempestuous petticoat", the author shows the reader that the petticoat not only flows freely and wildly, but the woman is also free and wild (9). The "careless shoestring" shows the how the disarray of the woman and her dress make her unusual (10).

The oxymorons in "Delight in Disorder" show the true uniqueness of the woman, as well as her dress. The phrase, "sweet disorder" very directly shows the author's appreciation of the woman's wayward clothing (1). The woman's clothing is clearly out of place and, though society often considers this unbecoming, the speaker finds it sweet. "Wild civility" denotes pleasantness and wildness at the same time (12). This draws the speaker towards the woman in the poem and her individual sense of style while still staying within the confines of polite society. This small hint of rebellion is appealing to the speaker, and he uses oxymorons to show his appreciation of the beauty that this creates.

"Delight and Disorder" is filled with images of clothing in an order that follows the glance of a man. The description of the woman's "crimson stomacher" and "cuff neglectful" show that the man takes every part of the woman's dress into account (6, 7). He looks at each part of the woman, and finds something unique about it. The images within the poem proceed from head to toe; similar to the way a man looks at a woman. The speaker begins by looking...
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