Well, at first, we should focus on what wit refers to. Basically, wit is referring to the keen knowledge. So, during the metaphysical era, the poets have deliberately concentrated on providing knowledge to the readers to encourage them to discover the world with new viewpoints and most obviously to think wisely and take unlamented decisions. So today, I’m going to analyze three poems to see how it has been done. So, I have chosen the poems “To the virgins, to make much of time” by Robert Herrick, “The good morrow” and finally “Go and catch a falling star” by John Donne.So, at first, I’m going to explain how the wit has been described in Robert Herrick’s carpe diem poem, “To the virgins, to make much of time.” When going along the poem, we can come to one conclusive idea that Herrick believes about the impact of time on a woman’s life and the value of beauty. Herrick expresses that the women should “gather their rose buds while they may” which describes that she should grab the things in life she needs, before time takes over. Once “Time” has made its mark on her, she will be lost to the happy possibilities of life like she is directly addressed to marry as soon as possible. Herrick sees time as damaging to women and that they must do everything they can to use their looks while they’re young because no one can assure what will happen tomorrow.
Besides, the poet goes on to tell the women listening to his words that they are “best” at the age when their “blood is warmer.” It is in the early days of youth a woman is most valuable. This is the period of time she should gain benefits of fullest. If someone refuses to do that as poet asked, the time will be “spent, the worse” until time passes one by. At last, even, the poet directly addresses the women to go and marry to find the crucial happiness of her life before the opportunity dissolves. If she loses that she has to wait in “forever tarry” by being a virgin for no use. So, Herrick encourages women to grab the most of everything while they are still young to take advantage of the love others want to give her and she will be more appreciated while she is young and beautiful. Not to go and lose their virginity, just for quick intimacy.
So, on the other hand, John Donne reveals his viewpoints towards the women as they are fickly untrusted creatures through his poem “Go and catch a falling star.” Donne concentrates on providing wit to the readers as how it is impossible to find a beautiful yet virginal woman and they become failure to remain pure and honest. He criticizes and bruits about misogyny, sexism, prejudice, and chauvinism on women but not in a serious manner. He challenges readers to catch a falling star which can never be done but he keeps hopes on that object as it often a symbol of hope and faith. Besides, he asks him to teach “to hear mermaids singing” to showcase the ugly emotions she could hide under her beauty. When going deeply through these unanswerable and undone orders, he tries to mention so hard it is to find a woman who keeps “an honest mind” to her husband. The poet strongly believes that a perfect woman can never be found within his lifetime which is compared to a “strange sight.” That’s why he pessimistically says “nowhere lives a woman true and fair.”
Along the argument, the poet still would like to keep a little piece of hope of finding a truthful and virgin woman. That is why he asks the readers to involve in his discovery by saying “if thou find’st one, let me know.” But the poet hesitates on going on the pilgrimage because he knows that even if the reader finds a “true” woman, she might have slept with two or three men when the time he finishes writing a letter to her. Donne displays his extreme lack of faith in the female sex. I feel that Donne wants to rescue males without being cheated. He presumes that a faithful woman may be found among the homely and unattractive but those who are gifted with beauty will have more opportunities for infidelities. Finally, Donne advices the males to think wisely and take unrepentant decisions.
At last, I chose John Donne’s masterpiece depiction of love “The good morrow.” In the above poem he created an infidel picture around the womankind but here, he creates the love towards a woman as a profound and spiritual experience that a man and woman share which is like the sun rising. He rotates around the reality of the love and sensuous experiences throughout his poem. The poet “wonders by his troth” what he and his beloved did until they find each other. He describes that past as a childish and unconscious sleep that they did “in the seven sleepers’ den.” The poet rejects the life he led until he met his present love.Anyway, they found each other now. That means they’re awaken and this meeting is just like a “good morrow” after his dream of her. The poet never thinks about superior or inferior things but he wants be compatible and equal with his beloved because he wants to share everything with her as there is nothing beyond walls of their room. They are the only two things that matter in the entire world. They are sharing universal and everlasting love between each other. He is deep in love with his beloved, even he can see his face in her eyes and hers appears in his eyes. Therefore, on one hand, “the good morrow” celebrates the rapture of mutual love moving through past, present and future, and on the other hand, the poet advices readers to wait until they find their true soulmate patiently because the perfect love is not only immortal, but it makes the lovers immortal as well. This is how he conveys the wit through his poem.
So, at the end, we can identify how the poets have tried to convey their ideas towards giving wit to the readers along diverse perspectives to reveal the idea in different manners and meet their target point undoubtedly.This is all I got for my explanation.Thank you so much for your time!