Supping with Ghosts: Imitation and Immortality in Herrick

Syrithe Pugh

in ‘Lords of Wine and Oile’

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604777
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729355 | DOI:
Supping with Ghosts: Imitation and Immortality in Herrick

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The assertion of immortality on the title-page of Hesperides, Effugient avidos Carmina nostra Rogos--a misquotation from Ovid's elegy for Tibullus--is no mere invocation of a literary commonplace. Rather, it points to a nexus of intertextual relations involving poems on death, afterlife, and poetic companionship in Tibullus, Propertius, the Amores and Ovid's exile poetry, which is persistently important to Herrick. Ovid's elegy makes poetic imitation itself integral to its consideration of literary immortality, figuring poetry as an ongoing conversation between poets living and dead. In Herrick's numerous evocations of this group of interrelated poems we see him entering the conversation with his classical predecessors, and extending it to his near contemporaries through beautifully integrated allusions to Dante, Shakespeare, Denham, Cowley, Carew, and above all Jonson.

Keywords: intertextuality; immortality; Herrick; Ovid; Tibullus; Propertius; Dante; Carew; Cowley; Jonson

Chapter.  11000 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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