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I want an analysis for "Description of Spring" by Henry Howard.

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mayoya | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 6, 2010 at 6:23 AM via web

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I want an analysis for "Description of Spring" by Henry Howard.

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neneta | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 6, 2010 at 8:14 PM (Answer #1)

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If you look at the title, you see that the poem is about spring and the rebirth of nature. This is an Elizabethan sonnet whose rhymes are abab abab abab aa. The speaker exposes the beauty of nature´s revival in springtime; however, his last couplet shows his sadness for not being part of this renewal.

The poem is rich in visual imagery. Thus, “With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale” (line 2), makes the reader to see the rebirth of the flowers, and the greenness in the hills and valleys. Moreover, the poet uses consonance, which is the repetition of a consonant in the beginning of the word. For example you have “Summer is come, for every spray now springs” (line 5), in which the consonant s is repeated in the words “summer”, “spray” and “springs”.  Or in:” The hart hath hung his old head on the pale ;”( line 6), in which H is repeated. The speaker also uses metaphors, when he refers to the hart hanging his old head, or the buck flinging in his winter coat.  Those devices help the reader to perceive the changes in nature. The first twelve lines connote exaltation and euphoria, whereas the two last couplets imply sorrow and unhappiness.

 If you look again to the title you see that “Wherein each thing renews, save only the Lover”. The word “save” comes from the Latin word “salvus” which means except. Thus, the theme of the poem is alterations and changes in nature, in which the speaker is not included. The poet Henry Howard lived in the early fifteenth century, which explains the complex and intrinsic language and the use of old English words.

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