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A Contemplation Upon Flowers

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Vinusha Tharmalingam

on 18 February 2014

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Transcript of A Contemplation Upon Flowers

A Contemplation Upon Flowers
More About the Poet
Henry King had attended Lord William's School up until 1608, then he went to Oxford. He later received a bachelor and masters in the arts. In February 1639, he was made dean of Rochester and was later voted to be Bishop of Chichester.
Henry King and his wife, had five children. Unfortunately, due to some tragic events, his second son had passed away in the same year as Henry, 1669 and his first son had passed away in 1671.
BRAVE flowers--that I could gallant it like you,
And be as little vain!
You come abroad, and make a harmless show,
And to your beds of earth again.
You are not proud: you know your birth:
For your embroider'd garments are from earth.

You do obey your months and times, but I
Would have it ever Spring:
My fate would know no Winter, never die,
Nor think of such a thing.
O that I could my bed of earth but view
And smile, and look as cheerfully as you!

O teach me to see Death and not to fear,
But rather to take truce!
How often have I seen you at a bier,
And there look fresh and spruce!
You fragrant flowers! then teach me, that my breath
Like yours may sweeten and perfume my death.
About the poet
In the early 1600, Henry was only a minor poet, but with great talent. He has written several other powerful poems along with
A Contemplation Upon Flowers
, including,
An Acknowledgment, Loves Harvest
The Exequy
The Exequy
, which was written for his wife who had passed away at the young age of 23, in the year 1624. Many of his other poems were usually written for friends and family.
A Contemplation Upon Flowers
by Henry King
The poet of this sensational poem was Henry King. He was born in 1592, in England, United Kingdom. More precisely Worminghall, Buckinghamshire. He was born on 16 January 1592 and died at the age of 77 on 30 September 1669. John King, the famous bishop of London, at that time, was the father and Joan Freeman was the mother.
The theme of the poem is death. The persona admires how flowers deal with death, and he fears death but wants to overcome that fear.
While analysing the title; A Contemplation upon flowers, the poet seems to be observing the purpose of a flower.
The persona wishes to be as brave as the flowers, as they are from the earth and are not too proud of whom they are. He wishes to live as long as he could without having the fear of death. The persona wants to live without the fear and live freely like the flowers and look as cheerful as them.
The poem talks about life and death. There are multiple literary devices being used within this poem, they include; Personification (saying flowers are smiling), irony( the poem is about death and flowers are full of life-but are used at funerals), simile ("brave as flowers".). Some of the vocabulary used is bier. That is used to carry the coffin to the grave, and gallant which means brave; heroic.

The mood is pensive (engaging indeep thought), and the attitude relates to admiration, where the person is admiring the flowers.
During the first stanza of the poem, the persona showcases his admiration for the flowers and how greatly he thinks of them. The tone now changes in the second stanza, in which he is reflecting on the behaviour of the flowers. In the final stanza, the persona is now speaking in a positive tone, since he is wanting to remove his fear of death.
After reading the poem, the significance of the poem changes as now it appears to be considering flowers.
One of Henry King's most admirable poems was A Contemplation Upon Flowers. This poem can be interpreted in many ways from many unique perspectives. From our perspective, we believe that the persona is sharing about how desperately he desires to share the bravery of flowers. He starts off in his first stanza with praises and appreciation, for examples, he states that flowers are brave and humble. He then continues forward to the next stanza by reflecting and relating the flowers to his own life. He states how he wishes he could be as cheerful as flowers. This is an example of one of the few literary devices he used, personification; this is when inanimate objects are given human characteristics. Moving on the last stanza, in which the persona talks about being taught by the flowers to not fear death. In this stanza we have discovered that he is determined to not be afraid and to life a positive life, similar to flowers. Through the many research that was completed we have observed that Henry King was a very intelligent, and passionate poet. He had a strong desire for poetry, and enjoyed sharing his thoughts and emotions using a variety of words, literary devices and an exclusive perspective.
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