Robert Herrick’s “to Daffodils

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Robert Herrick is generally considered the greatest of the Cavalier poets, and like most of this group of poets his works show a large amount of wit and dryness. One such poem "To Daffodils" which was in a collection of poems entitled "Hesperides," (tad bit presumptuous on his part) is a perfect example of Herrick’s sophisticated and direct nature. The poem is broken into two stanzas, the first addressing the daffodils and the second moving on to people and life in general. The poem moves along in such a way that the daffodils addressed then they eventually die, and likewise we, as people, follow the same pattern. The poems unusual rhyme scheme, diction as well as the voice of the speaker emphasizes the poems stoic nature and its eventual acceptance of death. Robert Herrick was well known for his use of flowers as subjects and often commented on their brevity of life or as an analogy to love. In one such poem, Why Flowers Change Color, Herrick touches on the topic of love and virginity as a flower, but still keeps a very close contact to his sharp dry nature that is found in “To Daffodils”. THESE fresh beauties (we can prove)

Once were virgins sick of love,
Turn'd to flowers. Still in some
Colours go and colours come.
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Like most of his works, this poem, along with To Daffodils, tackles very complex subjects but tries to simplify them down to an almost meditative quality. The perspective of the speaker in this poem illuminates the point of view Herrick has on the overall subject of death, but also keeps to his well known meditative quality. By using the word "we" instead of "I" or any other indication of who the speaker is, Herrick shifts the point of view away from just him and makes it so everyone shares his ideas. Herrick uses us in the sense that everyone agrees with the sadness of the daffodils departing, but as everyone is not there talking to the daffodil, Herrick alone address it. The first stanza has the speaker talking to the daffodils directly,...
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