Two Carpe Diem Poems (Assignment)
Name __________________________________________________________ Section _______
Carpe Diem translates to “Seize the Day.” The theme was very common in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English love poetry. Lover-poets frequently exhorted their mistresses to yield to love (and love-making – actually sex) while they still had their youth and beauty. Here are famous examples.
“To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” (38)
Each stanza in the poem presents an argument to young women as to why they should submit to love. Summarize the argument from each stanza and quote a line or phrase from each that helps make the point and explain:
The poet addresses the virgins urging them to pick their rose buds as time is of the essence. The virgins are youthful and innocent. “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,” Rose buds in this cases is a metaphor since a flower is lovely to look at, but may wither quickly.
The second stanza then highlights the need to consider time as time passes by quickly. “The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he’s to setting, “(lines 7-8). When read together with the first stanza it appears as though it is a race against time to act before th