November 20, 2010 rude robert herrick
I’m meant to be doing a presentation on Monday on the 17th Century Cavalier poets, including Robert Herrick, to a class-full of hideously switched-on, smart-aleky english students and the most erudite, witty professor. I haven’t started: I don’t know where to start. It is funny poetry, though, raunchy, crude, loads of stuff about how great it is to get drunk and go pull girls, go hunting and scrounge of your rich mates with country houses. Huge contrast to the very holy George Herbert we studied a few weeks ago.
Here’s one particularly eloquent example:
“Upon Jack and Jill: Epigram”
by Robert Herrick
When Jill complains to Jack for want of meat,
Jack kisses Jill, and bids her freely eat.
Jill says, Of what? Says Jack, On that sweet kiss,
Which full of nectar and ambrosia is,
The food of poets. So I thought, says Jill;
That makes them look so lank, so ghost-like still.
Let poets feed on air or what they will;
Let me feed full till that I fart, says Jill.