The soft pale Santa Monica evening glistened through the tiny slits of blinds as my professor sifted through his Norton Anthology. He hesitated, “So, the next poem that you were to read was Robert Herrick’s “Upon the Nipple of Julia’s Breasts”. The entire classroom perked up in a way that only a poem like this could make possible. My professor slightly blushed as he read:
Have ye beheld (with much delight)
A red rose peeping through a white?
Or else a cherry (double graced)
Within a lily? Centre placed?
Or ever marked the pretty beam
A strawberry shows half drowned in cream?
Or seen rich rubies blushing through
A pure smooth pearl, and orient too?
So like to this, nay all the rest,
Is each neat niplet of her breast.
The classroom was silently buzzing, and I honestly felt a little warm. I’m pretty sure that the collective had goosebumps just listening to this sexy piece of poetry. For once in the entire semester, everyone was on the same page.
Poetry has always been a language that I have spoken well. However, English Poetry before the 18th century is quite different than the volumes of poetry that I started writing at the age of twelve. There is something so sensual about Herrick’s poem. The detail in which he described this small part of a woman is invigorating to say the least. It had been awhile since simple words had sent a tingle down my spine. And more recently, it comes in the form of Sage Francis’ “Hopeless”. His poem is beautiful and graceful and also makes you want to be thrown up against the wall. Because when someone plays connect the dots with your beauty marks, you tend not to forget it.