Friday, April 20, 2012

Poetry Friday: Herrick's Brooks, Blossoms, Birds and Bowers

"I sing of brooks, of blossoms...."

It's blossom-time in Seattle. I'll just let the 17th-Century poet Robert Herrick speak for me this week.

The Argument of His Book
by Robert Herrick

I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds and bowers,
Of April, May, of June, and July flowers.
I sing of Maypoles, hock carts, wassails, wakes,
Of bridegrooms, brides, and of their bridal cakes.
I write of youth, of love, and have access
By these to sing of cleanly wantonness.
I sing of dews, of rains, and, piece by piece,
Of balm, of oil, of spice, and ambergris.
I sing of times trans-shifting, and I write
How roses first came red and lilies white.
I write of groves, of twilights, and I sing
The court of Mab and of the fairy king.
I write of hell; I sing (and ever shall)
Of heaven, and hope to have it after all.
Poetry Friday is being hosted this week by Diane Mayr at Random Noodling. Head over there to see what other people have posted. 

"I sing of Maypoles, hock carts, wassails, wakes...."



  1. What a wonderful tribute to spring. Thanks for bringing us some Herrick today - I used to love sharing him with my HS students.

  2. Spring is my favorite season! This is perfect for today, I especially like this phrase, "to sing of cleanly wantonness."

  3. I love the lines "I write of your, of love, and have access/ By these to sing of cleanly wantonness." I'm not sure what 'cleanly wantonness' is but I'm sure it is associated with April.

  4. *dons floral head wreath and cavorts through the meadow*

    Herrick takes me right back to grad school. Thanks for the poetic bouquet :).

  5. Ah, interesting! Just over from Robyn's post where a distinction is made between writing and singing, then here for the same! There is certainly much music in this poem. Enjoy your Seattle blossoms -- ours in Alabama have come and gone and soon (tomorrow maybe) it will be heavy, blazing summer. Thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to your stint next week over at No Water River!

  6. What a wonderful catalog of subjects to write about. A person couldn't do much better.

  7. I love this. A list poem at its very best. Thanks for sharing.

  8. What a list! The joy goes on and on and on! Just a mention of hell, and then the singing starts again!!

  9. What a vintage feel in celebration of Spring. Love your selection this week. :)

  10. The old is new again! We just can't help writing about the blaze of spring, but are there any new ways to do it? Why, yes--just look back to see forward! The "cleanly wantonness" reminds me of e.e. cummings.