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Michael Drayton's Poetry - Book Report/Review Example

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Michael Drayton (1563-1631), Shakespeare's contemporary and English Elizabethan poet, has written in a variety of poetic genres, including all of pastoral, spiritual, historical and epic poems. He is best known, however, for his sonnets, one of which, "Come Let Us Kiss and Part" (1619) will be critically analyzed in this essay…
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Michael Draytons Poetry
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Download file to see previous pages Indeed, as Greg points out, in this sonnet Drayton captures the complexity of love and exposes the ease by which love can turn into hate (pp. 164-65). In direct comparison to the majority of sonnets which present love as the focal point of existence, as the raison d'tre, Drayton discusses the end of love in semi-bitter tones, projecting the termination of love as an act of cleansing.
The structure of Drayton's poem provides readers with an insight into its underlying meaning. Identified as a Shakespearean sonnet by Williams, the poem is comprised of 14 lines and three parts. The first part, spanning lines 1 through 8, are distinguished by the first voice; the second part, running through lines 9-12 are in the third voice; and the final part, from lines 13-14, are in the second voice (pp. 311-12). The movement from one part to another, from one voice to the other, is important because, as shall be illustrated in this analysis, it is further accompanied by a shift in tone and mood.
The first part of the poem is expressive of its underlying love-hate relationship and of the poet's internal conflict between his desire to end the relationship civilly and his need to vocalize his rather acrimonious feelings towards his former lover. The first line is a concession to his desire for civility: "Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part." He acknowledges that the relationship is beyond repair and that nothing which may be said or done can change that fact. Accordingly, speaking in the first voice, the poet proposes that the former lovers acknowledge the futility of further action or words and part on civil terms. The idealism of the aforementioned intentions are clarified in the second line, wherein one finds that, no sooner does the poet propose a civil parting, he gives in to his acrimony. Thus, he quite abruptly tells his former lover that she can have no more of him; that their relationship is unequivocally over and indeed, as he goes on to claim in the fourth line, he is happy about that.
The poet, as may be inferred from the preceding paragraph, is deeply conflicted over both the decision to part and the nature of the parting itself. He wants the relationship to end and he wants it to end civilly. At the same time, he does not maintain a civil tone and seems more intent on persuading himself, than his lover, that he wants their relation to end. As he says "And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart," it is as if he is trying to persuade himself that he is happy that it is over. It is, thus, that that quoted line contains both confirmation and affirmation that the relationship has ended and that he is glad about it.
After the above discussed declaration of happiness, the poet's tone descends into bitterness and his words become increasingly acrimonious. He no longer wants to "kiss and part," but wants to cleanse himself of the relationship. He wants to "cleanly free himself," implying a desire to complete terminate all ties, including shared memories. The love which they had once shared has, at least as far as the poet is concerned, turned into an abiding hatred, whereby he can no longer tolerate the thought of his former lover and, indeed, wants to wipe the episode clean from his mind and life. Indeed, so unequivocal is the poet's hatred for his former lover, so overpowering is his desire to wash himself clean of her that he wants to formalize their separation. It is thus that he says ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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