Friday, November 14, 2014

Poetry Friday: Beach Music

Last Saturday we went to the beach.  We went because our neighbors were having a party on Saturday night, and when they have a party, nobody in our house sleeps.  There aren't noise ordinances where I live, so the best way to handle it, remain on good terms with the neighbors, and sleep, is to go away somewhere.  When that somewhere is the beach, so much the better.

We slept peacefully and had a great time, but during the day, there was music playing most of the time.  On Sunday the morning peace was shattered by a DJ blasting out Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust."  Repeatedly.  At mealtimes in the hotel restaurant there were many musical offerings, such as "Turn Up the Love."  (This lyric made us giggle: "We're breathing in the same air/ So turn up the love...."  Our paraphrase: "You exist and so do I!  Turn up the love!"  Seems like a pretty low set of requirements to hook up with someone.)

But the one that amused us the most was a song called "Give me everything."  You can watch it here.  The lyrics, subtly, request, "Tonight I want all of you tonight/ Give me everything tonight/ For all we know we might not get tomorrow/ Let's do it tonight..."  The first time this song played, I commented, "Hey!  It's gather ye rosebuds while ye may!"

So in honor of our beach music, here's Gather Ye Rosebuds...

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Robert Herrick
 
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
   Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
   Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, 
   The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
   And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
   When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
   Times still succeed the former. 

Then be not coy, but use your time,
   And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
   You may forever tarry.

So yeah, we might not get tomorrow, yo.

We also thought of Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress."  Robin Hood Black posted it here back in September with appropriate musings about carpe diem and poetic invitations.  Marvell starts out:

Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime. 

He goes on to explain that they don't have world enough and time, and in fact, turn up the love! You can read the rest, expressed far more beautifully, here.

I don't really have any profound conclusions to draw here, but as I commented on Robin's post in September (linked above), I think it's funny when people talk about poetry as something for sissies.  So much of it is about seduction.   My daughter asked whether I thought these poems, by Herrick and Marvell, were effective in their day, and I said, "Oh yes." I find them more effective than "Give me everything," for sure, but maybe that's just me.

Turn up the love and have a great Friday!  Here's today's roundup



6 comments:

Tabatha said...

And maybe add Ben Jonson's "Song to Celia" to the list?
You are very patient neighbors!

jama said...

Thanks for the glimpse of the beach -- perfect to warm us all up with our premature winter temps. Enjoyed the reflections about seductive songs/poetry, then and now. Herrick and Marvell take me right back to grad school.

Mary Lee said...

I'm with Jama -- thanks for the trip to the beach, even though it was not quite the quiet escape you hoped for. Your musings are amusing, though!

LInda Baie said...

Adore all the connections made here, your thought-filled meanderings, Ruth! And love the carpe diem poems. I am gathering rosebuds every day! Seems as if you are too! Thanks, Ruth. Love going to the beach with you!

A Gift to Open, Again and Again said...

I always have my Brit Lit students each study one of the Canterbury Tales and present it in class. There are some doozies (as you know) and it's hilarious watching them try to find a way through!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Ha! Sorry I missed this post last week, Ruth. Oh, the world hasn't REALLY changed that much in all these years, has it? Well, human nature anyway.

Sounds like you all made the best of an "If you can't beat them, join them" situation...!