Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ben Jonson "Epitaphh on Elizabeth, L.H."

This poem immediately caught my attention due to its first line. "Wouldst thou hear what man can say in a little? Reader, stay. " I had to re-read it over and over again to fully grasp its meaning. In my opinion, it means "will you listen to what I (the narrator) has to say? (Reader) stay and listen". He gives the epitaph of Elizabeth stating that she was beautiful and lived fully. Anything that she was guilty of on earth is now left behind. Her full identity is gone. The poet not only describes Elizabeth but he describes poetry in general. Poetry is beautiful and lives with purpose and after it is all said and done it is just a poem. The poet also uses a rhyme scheme. a,a,b,b,c,c,d,d,e,e,f,f. This is important because it couplets the two lines together. It is as if the pairs of lines are complete points before he moves on to the next point.

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