Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry: Explained, WISHES TO HIS SUPPOSED MISTRESS, by RICHARD CRASHAW

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

WISHES TO HIS SUPPOSED MISTRESS, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"Wishes to His Supposed Mistress" is a poem by Richard Crashaw, an English poet who lived in the 17th century. The poem is a love poem that expresses the speaker's desire for his beloved. In this critical analysis, we will examine the themes, style, and structure of "Wishes to His Supposed Mistress" and analyze the ways in which it reflects the cultural and literary context of the time.

The central theme of the poem is love and desire. The speaker expresses his longing for his beloved and wishes to be with her, saying "O that I were where I would be, / Then would I be where I am not." The poem is filled with images of longing and desire, such as "my heart is with the vine," which suggests a yearning for the pleasures of the senses.

In terms of style, the poem is notable for its use of language and imagery. Crashaw employs a variety of poetic devices, such as alliteration and repetition, to create a musical effect. The language is rich and lyrical, and the imagery is often sensual and erotic. The poem also contains a number of references to classical mythology, such as the references to Venus and Adonis, which suggest a deep engagement with the literary traditions of the past.

Structurally, the poem is organized into three stanzas, each of which contains four lines. The first stanza sets the tone for the poem by expressing the speaker's longing for his beloved. The second stanza expands on this theme by using rich and sensual imagery to describe the beloved. The final stanza returns to the theme of desire and longing, expressing the speaker's wish to be with his beloved.

In conclusion, "Wishes to His Supposed Mistress" is a beautiful and lyrical love poem that reflects the cultural and literary context of the time in which it was written. Through its use of language and imagery, the poem captures the intense emotions of love and desire, and expresses them in a way that is both sensual and poetic. The poem is a testament to Crashaw's skill as a poet, and to the enduring power of love poetry in the English literary tradition.

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