Monday, April 17, 2006

NPM: "Delight in Disorder"

A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness;
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction;
An erring lace which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher;
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbons to flow confusedly;
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat;
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility,
Do more bewitch me, than when art
Is too precise in every part.

~ Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Robert Herrick has always amused me ever since I first encountered his poetry as a sophomore in Brit Lit I. Though Herrick would have far preferred to live a leisurely life in London, circumstances led him to pastor a country church in Devonshire, a time during which he wrote much of his poetry. And while I find his poetry entertaining, I doubt I would have wanted him as a pastor. :-)

"The Puritans would have been scandalized had they realized that this minister of the holy gospel was half a pagan and didn't even have the grace to be ashamed of the fact."

~ The Norton Anthology of British Literature


Anonymous Will said...

I like his description of Julia and the "liquefaction of her clothes."

1:40 PM  
Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

I'm afraid I can't speak intelligently as to the religious habits of Mr. Herrick, but I do know that I love this poem! It has been very true in my experience. I think it's because it makes a woman seem human and approachable, instead of seeming like a goddess reserved for someone much more than a merely mortal man.

In Christ.

11:10 PM  

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