Write an essay on the cavalier poets
Question: Write an essay on the cavalier poets.
The term “Cavalier Poets” was a school of English poets of the 17th century that came from the classes that supported King Charles I during the English Civil War. Charles I, a connoisseur of the fine arts, supported poets who created the art he craved. So these poets in turn grouped themselves with the King and his service, thus becoming Cavalier poets. They were royalists and separate in their lifestyle.
The major trends of the cavalier poets
The best-known cavalier poets are Robert Herrick, Sir John Suckling, and Richard Lovelace. Most of them were courtiers. Their poems are secular and no doubt lyrical but rather written in a light-hearted tone. Love is mainly the theme of their poems but treated love by them is more attached to temporal and immediate pleasure.
Cavalier poetry is different from traditional poetry in its subject matter. Instead of tackling issues like religion and the arts, cavalier poetry aims to express the joy and simple gratification of celebratory thinks. Most cavalier works had allegorical and classical references. They drew upon the knowledge of Horace, Cicero, and Ovid. By using these resources they were able to produce poetry that impressed King Charles I. The cavalier poets wrote lyrics and short poems and they had no liking for sonnets. They revealed lyrical power of higher order-fresh, passionate, and felicitous but at the same time meditative and observant.
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The major cavalier poets
The following poets are known as Cavalier poets:
Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
Robert Herrick was one of the greatest cavalier poets. His poems are lyrical and full of wit and humorous sentiment. His famous volumes of poems are “Hesperides” and “Noble Numbers”. Both are the collection of short poems.
Thomas Carew (1595-1640)
Thomas Carew was known as a courtly and polished love poet. His poems are sensuous lyrics. He had a lucidity and directness of lyrical utterance. His poems are short in length. “A Rapture” is his longest poem. The subject matters of this poem are love and feminine beauty.
Sir Thomas Suckling (1609-1641)
Suckling’s lyrics are all of the love and they have in them an irresistible swing. They are all characterized by a light imparting tone. His two best lyrics are “A Ballad upon a Wedding” and Why So Pale and Wan Fond Lover?”
Richard Lovelace (1617-1657)
Like other cavalier poets of 17th century England, Richard Lovelace lived a legendary life as a soldier, lover, and courtier. His best-known works are “To Lucasta, Going to the Wars” and “To Althea, from Prison”.
To conclude, the cavalier poets strove to create poetry where both pleasure and virtue thrived. They were rich in reference to the ancients as well as pleasing.