Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry: Explained, LOVE'S FRANCISCAN, by HENRY CONSTABLE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

LOVE'S FRANCISCAN, by                 Poet's Biography


"Love's Franciscan" is a poem written by Henry Constable, an English poet who lived from 1562 to 1613. Constable was a contemporary of William Shakespeare and was known for his religious poetry. He was also appointed as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1591.


The poem was written during the Elizabethan era, a period of great cultural and literary development in England. The Renaissance was in full swing, and the arts were flourishing. During this time, love poetry was a popular genre, and many poets, including Shakespeare, wrote extensively on the subject. The poem reflects the conventions of Elizabethan love poetry, but also incorporates religious themes, reflecting Constable's background in religious poetry.


The poem is about a Franciscan monk who, despite taking a vow of celibacy, falls in love with a woman. The poem consists of three stanzas, each containing six lines. In each stanza, the speaker describes the monk's love for the woman and the internal conflict he experiences as he tries to reconcile his love with his vow of celibacy.


The poem follows a simple and traditional form, consisting of three sestets with an ABABCC rhyme scheme. The meter is iambic pentameter, with each line consisting of ten syllables, and the poem has a regular and rhythmic structure.

Poetic Elements:

The poem uses various poetic devices to convey the emotions and inner turmoil of the speaker, including metaphor, simile, and personification. The use of natural imagery, such as the comparison of the monk's heart to a garden, adds depth and complexity to the poem. The use of religious imagery, such as the reference to the monk's vow of celibacy, adds a layer of meaning and reflects the poem's religious themes.


"Love's Franciscan" is a complex and thought-provoking poem that explores the intersection of love and faith. The poem's use of religious imagery adds depth and complexity, and the poem raises questions about the nature of love and the conflicts that can arise between personal desires and religious beliefs. The poem's traditional form and use of poetic devices create a sense of unity and coherence, and the poem's emotional impact is heightened by its use of natural and religious imagery. Overall, "Love's Franciscan" is a beautifully crafted poem that reflects the depth and complexity of Constable's poetic vision.


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