Beaurline, L. A. “’Why So Pale and Wan?’: An Essay in Critical Method.” In Seventeenth-Century English Poetry: Modern Essays in Criticism, edited by William R. Keast. Rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981. Beaurline sees the poem as a dramatic lyric with a “facetious” (in the sixteenth century sense) narrator whose wit reflects unity in situation, character, argument, and language. Beaurline also discusses the poem as a response to the more complex Metaphysical poetry.
Bloom, Harold, ed. The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Frost. New York: HarperCollins, 2004. Contains some poems by Suckling, selected by Bloom and with commentary by Bloom.
Clayton, Thomas. “’At Bottom a Criticism of Life’: Suckling and the Poetry of Low Seriousness.” In Classic and Cavalier: Essays on Jonson and the Sons of Ben, edited by Claude J. Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982. Clayton’s essay provides an overview of Suckling criticism and proceeds to analyze four poems: the early “Upon St. Thomas’s Unbelief,” “An Answer to some Verses made in his praise,” “Why so pale and wan, fond Lover?” and “Love’s Clock.” Places Suckling’s work in its literary context.
Squires, Charles L. Sir John Suckling. Boston: Twayne, 1978. Squires covers Suckling’s life, plays, poems, prose, and literary reputation. He also provides careful readings of several poems, and his criticism of the four plays is detailed. Suckling emerges as the spokesperson for the Cavalier era. Includes a chronology and bibliography.
Van Strien, Kees. “Sir John Suckling in Holland.” English Studies 76, no. 5 (September, 1995): 443. Suckling traveled in the Low Countries in the early seventeenth century yet left no record of his journeys. A letter written by Suckling and additional material are pieced together to develop a picture of the writer during a little-known period of his life.
Wilcher, Robert. The Discontented Cavalier: The Work of Sir John Suckling in its Social, Religious, Political, and Literary Contexts. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2007. Endeavors to examine the works of Suckling in the context of his times—in his social circumstances and position, the religious and political views of the time, and the literary world, including the Cavalier poets.