Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yanneka King Post 1: Upon Julia's Clothes

Although a very short poem, Upon Julia's Clothes, displays many very interesting traits. With a rhyme scheme of aaa, then bbb, Herrick separates the poem into two distinct parts: the physical disposition of the clothing on the woman he so dearly admires and the way that the clothing affects him. The way that Herrick uses the syllables (988, 889) of the poem to give the reader a sense of flowing nature also helps to increase interest, as the poem seems to itself represent the very flowy clothing that Julia wears.

The first stanza very simply explains the "sweet" flowing nature of Julia's clothes, leaving the reader to come away with more than what Herrick states. His description of her clothes leaves the reader with a sense of affection as he describes his thoughts of her sweetly flowing silk and the "liquefaction" of her clothes. He provides the reader with an almost water-like image of Julia in her silks, giving the reader a sense that she is, like water, a necessary substance in his life. Julia and her sweetly flowing silks are something that the narrator must have to survive. His choice of the word "liquefaction" emphasizes this point, as it demonstrates that Julia's clothes are liquid-like. This word follows his description of Julia's "flowing," which gives the reader an image of a flowing brook or stream rather than any other liquid of the time period (like wine, or juice).

The second stanza further suggests his reliance on fair Julia. He describes what her flowing clothes do to his psyche. When he "casts" his eyes, he is almost trapped by the flowing freedom of Julia's clothes. He describes her clothing as a "brave vibration, each way free," further suggesting to the reader the water imagery through its similarities to babbling brook. When one looks upon a brook, it seems to possess tiny vibrations as it runs freely to its destination and Julia's clothing seems to incorporate this similarity. Herrick's choice of words in this stanza are important, just as the previous stanza. The glittering and flowing of Julia's silk robe "taketh" him, suggesting to the reader that he is almost kidnapped by the beauty of her freely flowing robe.

Lastly the physical nature of the poem continues to suggest the water theme hinted at previously. The reader is forced to read the poem in a fast nature because of the rhyme scheme and the short nature of the syllables in each line helps to further the theme along. The poem in itself is really very short, again, suggesting that one read it at a steady pace. These elements combined, when read aloud, almost seem to provide the sounds of a rushing stream, or babbling brook as suggested earlier. Herrick's short poem, when analyzed, seems to provide the reader with much more than anticipated at first glance. He is able to compare the beauty of Julia and her clothing to one of the most versatile and vital substances on earth, although at first glance, the work seems to be only a very short love poem.

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