The Latin phrase "carpe diem" translates into "seize the day" in English. To seize the day is a powerful expression that applies to us all in a certain aspect of our life. Making the most out of life is a predominant goal that all of us want to achieve. Themes of "carpe diem" were common in seventeenth century poetry when poets plunged into the lives and feelings of the everyday commoner. In a thorough analysis, one can clearly justify that the two poems, "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time," by Robert Herrick and "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell are works from that period, which deliver a clear theme of "carpe diem.".
Robert Herrick's, "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time" is a poem about a universal moral that everyone should seize the day because life is too short. Robert Herrick wrote this poem in the seventeenth century when the life span was not as extensive as today's life span. The most important moral Herrick treasured was to live life with great virtue and not to waste time. He emphasized this moral mainly towards women because he felt women are their best at their prime, when they are young and untainted. "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, / Old time is still a-flying." (Herrick 1-2). We all know the beauty of rosebuds, and we all know how quickly they wither and die. Herrick used imagery in these opening lines in order to make it clear that he is concentrating on those in the prime of their life. Herrick is giving advice to all the readers by saying to marry when they are young because when they are older they will be out of their prime. Men are more attracted to women in their earlier years. Women are more attractive looking and voluptuous when they are at their prime. Their bodies have developed and matured and they are ready for sexual enteraction with men. Men know this and find it very arousing and want to chase and capture a woman just as she is at her prime.