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Redefining the Love Poem

            The famous poet William Shakespeare once said "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" and his words couldn't be any truer for the work of 17th century English poet Thomas Carew. Whether you refer to his poem as "A Song" or "Ask Me No More," Carew revolutionizes the love poem and redefines beauty in such a way that the recipient of these words could care less about what the poem is called simply because it would be just as romantic with any other title. Breaking from the Shakespearean sonnet that had become commonplace, Carew's poem exhibits a few distinct structural differences that make it unique and memorable. Rather than writing a fourteen line poem with three quatrains and a couplet in iambic pentameter like every sonnet of the time, Carew writes "A Song" in twenty lines of paired, short couplets in iambic tetrameter. Not only does this structural difference distinguish "A Song" from other poems of the time, but the way Carew approaches the act of describing the subject's beauty also stands out. By portraying the relationship between nature and the subject to and stating that the source of nature's beauty lies within the subject, Carew completely trumps the simile's power of describing comparable beauty by eliminating any need for comparison at all. In doing so, Carew opens the figurative door to a new level of poetic imagery that wasn't quite attainable through the use of conventional similes and other comparative strategies.
             In his endeavor to redefine beauty in a love poem, Carew plays with a combination of words in each stanza that help to paint a deeper picture that a simple simile would not be able to accomplish. This stanza, and every stanza thereafter, begins with the phrase, "Ask me no more" which Carew repeats for the emphasis of his new method of describing beauty. By saying "Ask me no more" in regards to the beautiful natural phenomena that he describes, Carew is making the argument that there is no need to ponder these occurrences any longer since he's found the answer, and possibly even the source, to what was not able to be answered before.

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