Robert Herrick Writing Styles in To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

Robert Herrick
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"To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time" is composed of four stanzas, each consisting of four lines of verse. Each stanza is composed of a single sentence. The poem employs end rhymes, the rhyming pattern being abab, cdcd, efef, ghgh.

In this poem, Herrick favors the trochaic foot, a unit of two syllables in which the first syllable is stressed and the second is unstressed. Scanning the first line of the poem, written in tetrameter form, reveals the dominance of this unit:

Ga ther / ye rose

/ buds while

/ ye may.

Trochaic feet are often difficult to use in a long poem as they tend to create a rocking rhythm. They are appropriate in this short poem with its short line length, where the brevity of form echoes the speaker's awareness of the brevity of life that underlies the poem's theme.

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This section contains 144 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time Study Guide
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