An Analysis of Richard Lovelace’s Poems Essay

I chose Richard Lovelace who writes to his lovers to tell them how he lives in the moment. Although he writes from prison, Lovelace continues to enjoy life and love his mistress in ‘To Althea, From Prison. ‘ Lovelace describes how although he is locked in a prison, his mind and soul are free to live for the moment. ‘Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage — minds innocent and quiet take that for an hermitage — that I have freedom in my love, and in my soul am free( “To Althea from prison” ln 25-30). In Lovelace’s poem, ‘To Lucasta, Going to the Wars,’ Lovelace leaves the safe refuge of his lover to go into the dangers of war.

He does so fearlessly with the belief in carpe diem. ‘Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind, that from the nunnery of thy chaste breasts, and quiet mind, to war and arms I fly(“ to lucasta on going to the wars” ln 1-4). Challenges such as prison, or war, inspire Lovelace to live more for the moment. The seconded poem I picked is “The Bait” by John Donne. He writes about how women are the fish bait and mean are the fish. To express carpe diem in his poem he has the men start off as playing the women and acting like they don’t care about love and betraying each other. And there th’ enamour’d fish will stay, Begging themselves they may betray” (“The Bait” ln 7-8). Then when the women shows love back they are satisfied and move on. When the women (fish bait) are turning the men (fish) away and getting hurt in the pursuit of love they realize they were wrong and that try to get the women back. That is the carpe diem; even though they think it’s easier not to be with a woman they “seize the day” by doing what makes them happy and trying for the love back. At the end of this poem the women does not take the man back.

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This to me is showing that “The Bait” is most defiantly is less effective and evident in that poem. Instead of full filling your carpe diem and doing what you want you become your own problem. Instead of having the love of a women you have the love for yourself. For thou thyself art thine own bait (“The Bait” ln 26). When you look at Lovelace’s poems there are strong points that he makes, his love in both. To me Lovelaces has proved the most out of carpe diem. Carpe diem means seize the day, but it can also mean enjoy, use, makes use of and he shows all of that throughout his poem.

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