Please explain to me more about the poem "To Celia" by Ben Jonson.

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Song: To Celia" is an extremely rhythmical love song.  It has a very definite meter that alternates between iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter.  All lines of trimeter rhyme within each stanza (while only some of the lines of pentameter rhyme).  This meter gives the song a true lyrical quality, so much so that it has remained popular through many centuries. Jonson reworded the words of prose from a Greek author to create these lyrics of the Renaissance and they were set to music.  (In fact, they became a very popular song of the time.)

In regards to the poem's meaning, each octet focuses on a different subject: wine or wreath.  Celia's kisses are more important to the speaker than wine.  Celia's love is more preferable than even "Jove's nectar" or the food of the gods.  To show his love, the speaker sent a wreath of roses that Celia sent promptly back.  Even in the speaker's sadness, he can't help reveling in the fact the wreath has taken on the scent of Celia.  Yes, passion and love has always been an inspiration for good (and bad) poetry.