Home > Free Essays > Literature > Poems > Go, Lovely Rose Poem by Edmund Waller

Go, Lovely Rose Poem by Edmund Waller Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Oct 8th, 2021

Introduction

Edmund Waller is best known for heroic couplet, poetic diction, phrasing, gentle irony, objectivity and wit. At the same time, he also faces criticism for his political opportunism, bribery, unfaithfulness to his compatriots for his own political and personal survival. So he was condemned as cowardly and dishonorable. Most of his poems were addressed to “Sacharissa”, (Poems-“At Penshurst,” and “Go, Lovely Rose.”) who was Lady Dorothy Sidney, who rejected him and married Lord Spencer in 1639. The poem “Go, Lovely Rose” is closely connected to his private life. This paper attempts to examine and evaluate the relation between “Go, Lovely Rose” and incidents that happened in the life of the poet and his transformation to a self realized personality.

Analysis

In his private life, the poet was a passionate admirer of women. First, he married a wealthy ward of the Court of Aldermen, in 1631. The opening of the poem sounds like it is associates with the same mood. The poem “Go, Lovely Rose” is in the form of address to a Rose, which is sent to his lady love. In the opening lines of the poem, the poet says to beautiful Rose to remind his lady love that she is wasting the valuable time which can be used. The central idea of the poem is the comparison of a beautiful lady to a rose. Thomas Kaminski points out that the poet addresses the rose, not his beloved. The lady who is addressed in the poem is sweet and fair. The poet is so obsessed with his lady love. “The speaker is, the speaker addresses the rose, not the lady; (31) thus all of the poem’s aims are achieved by indirection. The speaker is a pining lover, the lady “sweet and fair,” an idealized object of precieux devotion.” (Kaminski, p.1).

“The poet is so devoted that he address his lady love with due care. Moreover, the poem “Go, Lovely Rose” conveys a carpe diem (“seize the day”) theme similar to that of two other famous poems of the same era: “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” (1648) by Robert Herrick and “To His Coy Mistress” (1681) by Andrew Marvell.” (Waller). The poem “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” by Robert Herrick and the poem “To his Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marwell are of the same theme-seize the day or physical love. The theme of physical love was widespread in this age and it reduced the importance of platonic love which had nothing to do with physical attachment. The theme used by this group of poets attracted much criticism from the side of traditionalists. The poet knows that the passion of physical love is not long lasting; it is like a candle lit at both ends. Here, the Rose is symbolic of the limitedness of beauty. The poet knows that physical beauty is not long-lasting. But now they are young and can love each other passionately. Here, the poet makes use of rose as a symbol of life, which is beautiful but limited, to remind his lady love about the reality of human life on earth. The poet knows that they are not entitled to live in this earth forever and they only have limited life on earth. So before growing old, they have to make use of the available time.

The second phase in the personal life of the poet begins from meeting with Lady Dorothy Sidney; the second half of the poem is a plea to his lady love. The poet developed a romantic passion for this girl and began writing poems addressing this lady (including this poem also). But, she was not ready to accept his love and married another man namely, Henry Spencer. The shock of this rejection made the poet insane for a while. Later, he recovered from this critical situation. In the second part of the poem, the poet asks the rose to remind his lady love that she is still young. This indicates that he is asking her to come to him and he is ready to accept her. She is not a flower that had bloomed in a dreary desert. She is young and energetic. If the beautiful flower is bloomed in a desert, no one will take care of her and there is a chance for an unnoticed death. The poet says that death is not beautiful. But it helps to destroy the beauty from this world. If she desires something, this is the best time. There will be others to hinder her from her effort. The poet expects his lady love to come forth and proclaim her love towards him.

“Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired” (Waller 13-15).

If she really desires, she is responsible to suffer for the same. In real life, the poet suffered from some temporary madness due to his unfulfilled love.

At last, the poet married a second wife, Mary Bracey of Thame and settled with her; in the same way the last part of the poem signifies the realization of the poet about the eternal reality- the death. The poet says that death is the most powerful thing that can hinder love. He visualizes the death (imaginary) in the worn out petals of the rose flower. This is connected to his fear that his lady love is to face the same fate. She will be succumbed to death, and their love will become unfulfilled. The only hindrance between them is the shyness of his lady love. Their lives (life of his lady love and the Rose flower) are so sweet; but death is the common fate to all living things. After the death of his wife in 1677, the poet retired to London and was passionate about a life in the lap of nature. The poem “Of the last verses in the Book,” written in his old age was considered as his rebirth as a sacred poet. Earlier, he used to write secular verses but now his transformation is complete.

So it is evident that the theme of the poem ‘Go Lovely Rose’ is closely related to the life history of the poet. An idea about the life of the poet helps the reader to have a broader and deeper knowledge about the images used by the poet. The last stanza of the poem is that of realization of self. In private life also, the last phase of the poet’s life was a sort of self realization. He wishes to return to nature and to be with nature. Apparently, the poet used this particular poetry for self-criticism. The transformation of the theme of the poem from physical love to the reality of death signifies the change in the poet’s life. In earlier years, the poet was in search of physical love. Later, he was able to rectify his mistake and was ready to return to nature, the destination of a life long journey.

Works Cited

Kaminski, Thomas. Edmund Waller, English Precieux. Philological Quarterly. 79.1. 2000.

Waller, Edmund. Go Lovely Rose. Poems, 1645, together with poems from Bodleian MS Dond. 1971.

This essay on Go, Lovely Rose Poem by Edmund Waller was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:

Reference

IvyPanda. (2021, October 8). Go, Lovely Rose Poem by Edmund Waller. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/go-lovely-rose-poem-by-edmund-waller/

Work Cited

"Go, Lovely Rose Poem by Edmund Waller." IvyPanda, 8 Oct. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/go-lovely-rose-poem-by-edmund-waller/.

1. IvyPanda. "Go, Lovely Rose Poem by Edmund Waller." October 8, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/go-lovely-rose-poem-by-edmund-waller/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "Go, Lovely Rose Poem by Edmund Waller." October 8, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/go-lovely-rose-poem-by-edmund-waller/.

References

IvyPanda. 2021. "Go, Lovely Rose Poem by Edmund Waller." October 8, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/go-lovely-rose-poem-by-edmund-waller/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Go, Lovely Rose Poem by Edmund Waller'. 8 October.

More related papers