Thanks for the GREAT suggestions for the sonnets and poetry!
I'm working on my poetry syllabus. There's a new edition since the last time I taught the course, so I'm working on putting things together anew. This afternoon, I ran across a Herrick (who will indeed be represented on my syllabus) poem I didn't know before. (I know! Shocking! If I were a grad student still, I couldn't admit that!)
"To the Sour Reader"
If thou dislik'st the piece thou light'st on first,
Think that of all that I have writ the worst;
But if thou read'st my book unto the end,
And still dost this and that verse reprehend,
O perverse man! If all disgustful be,
The extreme scab* take thee and thine, for me.
*Scab=mange. Fun curse, eh?
I love Herrick's wit. I have a feeling he'd have been a real kick to know, someone who really liked people despite and because of our flaws and goofiness. Yeah, like pretty much everyone from the 17th century, he would probably have been obnoxiously sexist, but I figure in 300 years, if anyone reads anything I write, they'll be equally irritated by the attitudes I show that seem pretty common and normal for my culture and time.
Other Herrick poems I've blogged? Glad you asked!
There's "The Vine" and "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time." Herrick's just delightful.