Symbolism, Imagery, Wordplay
Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our... Form and Meter
Meter: Alternating Iambic Tetrameter and Iambic Trimeter with CatalexisDon't worry about the complicated name for this poem's meter; it sounds worse than it really is. "To the Virgins" alternates b... Speaker
As is so often the case, it's really easy to imagine Morgan Freeman speaking these lines, or at least to his character from The Shawshank Redemption. In that movie, he plays a prisoner who made a m... Setting
Let's suppose you live near a place called the Rose Garden, which is full of (surprise) flowers. You and your best friend spend a lot of time there, especially when you're bored and don't feel like... Sound Check
There's no getting around the singsong, almost nursery-rhyme quality of this poem. "Gather ye rosebuds…" also sounds moralistic and profound, like something Forrest Gump would say. It's simple, r... What's Up With the Title?
The poem is called "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time." The poem is addressed, presumably, to a group of virgins, and it encourages them to make the most of their time… which turns out to mean... Calling Card
Playful and OptimisticEven if you haven't read our "Sound Check" section for this poem, you can't help noticing that it has a certain singsong, nursery-rhyme quality to it. The short, four-line sta... Tough-o-Meter
(3) Base Camp"To the Virgins" isn't really a difficult poem, aside from a few strange vocabulary choices like "a-flying," "a-getting," and maybe "tarry" in the last stanza. In fact, unlike the poet... Trivia
Robert Herrick (1591-1674) lived until he was 83 (source). That's a ripe old age, especially for the 1600s.Herrick's major contribution to English literature, a volume entitled...