Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPoetry · 9 months ago

*5 STARS* What is the meaning of the poem "The Wiser Part" By Anacreon?

I care not for the idle state

Of Persia’s king, the rich, the great:

I envy not the monarch’s throne,

Nor wish the treasured gold my own.

But oh! be mine the rosy wreath,

Its freshness o’er my brow to breathe;

Be mine the rich perfumes that flow,

To cool and scent my locks of snow.

To-day I’ll haste to quaff my wine,

As if to-morrow ne’er would shine;

But if to-morrow comes, why then —

I’ll haste to quaff my wine again.

And thus while all our days are bright,

Nor time has dimm’d their bloomy light,

Let us the festal hours beguile

With mantling cup and cordial smile;

And shed from each new bowl of wine

The richest drop on Bacchus’ shrine.

For Death may come, with brow unpleasant,

May come, when least we wish him present.

And beckon to the sable shore,

And grimly bid us — drink no more!

3 Answers

  • 9 months ago
    Favourite answer

    That the simple things in life, flowers, wine are more important to him than power and wealth.

    Since he is old, it is even more important to take pleasure where you can because death is after you!

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  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    He's happy with his life to enjoy as he pleases without wishing he were a king with riches and he appreciates the little things in life like the scent of flowers from the wreath on his head.

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  • 9 months ago

    “Genesis” is such a beautiful, and highly structured, poem that I hate to try and dissect it at all. One thing to note — he was quite young when he wrote it (still at Oxford, iirc), and as a result this poem is heavy with the weight of Gerard Manley Hopkins in content and in form (especially those first two lines — “Against the burly air I strode/crying the miracles of God” — a person could write a paper just about these lines and their debt to Hopkins esp. “Wreck of the Deutschland” and “The Windhover” — why “against?” why “burly”? why “crying”? What about that inverted foot in the second line? &c).

    I do think that trying to align this poem literally to any particular Biblical passage is going to be a painful and ugly fit — even (especially?) to the Book of Genesis. There’s also a daft inconsistency in who the “I” is in this poem — whether it is God or another powerful being who can “(bring) the sea to bear/upon the dead weight of the land” and “(make) the glove-winged albatross/Scour the ashes of the sea” or a weak and powerless being who can only observe, and cry out (all of section II) or, is both things, clay and flesh.

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