Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

The figures of speech, imagery and also the symbols are very important thing of a poem. That’s why the poet Robert Herrick also uses these thing in his poem To Daffodils. Let’s see Figure of Speech, Imagery, and Symbol in To Daffodils.

In his poem ‘To Daffodils’, Robert Herrick has used many similes in order to convey his ideas. A simile is an explicit comparison between two different things. It clearly states the similarity existing between two unlike things using such words as” like, so, as, as-so, Such, similarly, as if etc. Robert Herrick has compared the daffodils with the human beings. He says in this poem,

‘We have short time to stay, as you’. 

He wants to reveal the idea that like the short life of the daffodils, human beings also have a short span of time on earth. He uses another simile to make a comparison between the spring and the human beings; he says,

“We have as short as spring”.

Here the poet has compared the youth period of human life with that of the spring season; it is the most pleasant and beautiful season but it only remains for a short span of time. The daffodils have a short spring and die very soon. Men also have very short vouth and die very soon.


The poet further says that human life is as short as “the summer’s rain” and “as the pearls of morning’s dew” which vanish away and never return again.


The poet has used imagery in this poem to convey his ideas. Imagery refers to the making of pictures in words, the pictorial quality of a literary work achieved through a collection of images. Imagery evokes a complex of emotional suggestions and communicates mood, tone and meaning. An image refers to something that can be achieved through the senses-—-sight, hearing, smell, touch etc. An image can be a symbol.


The poet has used images like “Fair daffodils’, “summer’s rain” and “pearls of morning’s dew” and thus he has compared their lifespan with that of human beings. Through these images the poet wants to reveal the idea that the daffodils, summer’s rain and pearls of morning’s dew pass away too early and human beings also do the same. The images “Fair daffodils” and “pearls of morning’s dew” also produce an idea of beauty that is not everlasting, something that is to be ruined. The poet wants to express the thought that life is short and beauty is transient.


Another technique which the poet has used in the poem to express his thoughts is symbolism. Symbolism refers to the conscious and artful use of symbols, objects, actions, or characters meant to be taken both literally and as representative of some higher, more complex and abstract significance that lies beyond ordinary meaning. Symbol is usually something -—an object, a place, a character or an action —that stands for or suggests something else.


The poet has symbolized the short lifespan of human beings through revealing the short existence of the “Fair daffodils’ ‘. In the line “We have as short as spring”, the ‘spring’ symbolises the youth period of human life. The poet has used an image “hasting day” concerning the movement and time; here ‘day’ becomes a symbol for life time; it hastes towards death.


Figures of speeches, images, symbols all are the heart of poetry. Those things increase the beauty of poetry. Even the mastery of a poet is justified by those things. As Robert Herrick is a popular poet and he is a cavalier poet, so he has a unique way to present his poem. In his ways, there is a tradition of using figures of speeches, images and symbols.

I hope this article helped you a lot to know about all those things. If you want to know more about Robert Herrick’s poems, then you may read from our website. There is also another article on the critical appreciation of To Daffodils you may read that article too. Thanks for reading from us.

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