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Response to "To the Virgins"

Updated on October 4, 2013

Plagiarism is bad!

Please use this as an example only. I'm posting my personal reading responses because I've met so many people, even in college, that don't know how to write them. There are many different kinds of reading responses; this is one version.

Not sure if this is the origination but it is where I found it.
Not sure if this is the origination but it is where I found it. | Source

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Please Fear Time

“To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”, written by Robert Herrick, is directed toward young virgins. He starts by saying that they should have fun now because time isn’t going to stop for them, and that the pretty flowers of today will be dead tomorrow. He says that youth is better than age, but time won’t let youth survive. He finishes by saying that virgins shouldn’t be shy. They should get married while they are still young and pretty or they might never get married.

Normally, these types of poems are notorious for trying to talk people (usually virgins) into having sex. This poem sticks out in comparison to the others because it doesn’t do that. He is trying to get virgins to fear waiting until they are older because by that time no one will want to marry them. In lines fourteen through sixteen he says “go marry;/ For having lost but once your prime,/ You may forever tarry”, which proves that he isn’t just trying to get them to have sex with. He is just telling them to go out and get married before they get too old.

There is a reoccurring image of time throughout the poem which, as I read through it, gives it a kind of urgency. It is as if he is begging them to fear time. In one instance the image of the sun moving through the sky is used to symbolize the time span of a life. He uses the second stanza, “The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,/ The higher he’s a-getting,/ The sooner will his race be run,/ And nearer he’s to setting.” to say that the longer people live, the closer they are to death. The third stanza has a good image of time passage as well: “That age is best which is the first […] being spent, the worse, […] times still succeed the former.”

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