Monday, July 04, 2011

Tuesday Poem - 'Delight in Disorder' by Robert Herrick.

A sweet disorder in the dresse
Kindles in cloathes a wantonnesse:
A Lawne about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction:
An erring Lace, which here and there
Enthralls the Crimson Stomacher:
A Cuffe neglectfull, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly:
A winning wave (deserving Note)
In the tempestuous petticote:
A careless shooe-string, in whose tye
I see a wilde civility:
Doe more bewitch me, then when Art
Is too precise in every part.

When I first discovered Robert Herrick as a young reader - he must have featured in an early anthology I had, I loved the fact that he was a fellow Leo. I still love the fact that he was a Leo, but I also love his language and, in this poem, I love the way he is advocating 'a wilde civility' of imperfection and risk-taking. 
You can read more Tuesday poems if you start here. Scroll back to the Lorine Niedecker poems - she's wonderful.

3 comments:

Joanne Horniman said...

I've always loved this poem (as one who delights in disorder)

Kathleen Jones said...

I love the 'tempestous petticoat' and the 'wilde civility'. As another fellow Leo I'm very inclined to passionate disorder!! I'm a great fan of Herrick.

Cattyrox said...

Joanne - delighters in disorder unite! (By the way, my daughter is a great fan of your books.)

Kathleen - Yes, 'tempestous petticoat' makes me long to swap jeans for some frou-frou frills and accidentally show a fine ankle. (I'm so pleased you're a fellow Leo...)