Happy the Man

“Happy The Man” by John Dryden John Dryden was born on 9 August in 1631 in a small town in Northamptonshire, England, the eldest of 14 children, was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden. Walter Scott called him “Glorious John. “[1] He was made Poet Laureate in 1668. As a humanist public school, Westminster maintained a curriculum which trained pupils in the art of rhetoric and the presentation of arguments for both sides of a given issue.
This is a skill which would remain with Dryden and influence his later writing and thinking, as much of it displays these dialectical patterns. The Westminster curriculum also included weekly translation assignments which developed Dryden’s capacity for assimilation. This was also to be exhibited in his later works. In 1650 Dryden went up to Trinity College, Cambridge.. Dryden died on April 30, 1700. Happy the Man is sublime in its brevity in defining happiness. It’s a short poem as compared to many of the larger writings of Glorious John, as Walter Scott called him.
Yet, it encompasses some eternal truths for personal happiness. What a fantastic line:  “Not Heaven itself upon the past has power”—how  many people spend valuable time worrying, regretting, fretting and wishing they could change the past? The things you’ve done or failed to do already can’t be changed, but the future is yours to shape. John Dryden is trying to explain that his life has been lived and he is happy with what he has done all his life and evn if there are something’s in his past he cannot change and even if the future isn’t so good he is still happy ,he did everything .

Everything he has done he had enjoyed and he is still enjoying to this day . He is happy . I have had my hour ,means he has lived his life . Work toward living each day to the fullest and owning your disappointments and failures as much as your successes – “…fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,” for a life that won’t leave you thinking only about the past, but rather always pushing on toward a brighter future. Notice how all of the end-of-couplet rhymes are end-stopped. Notice, besides that, how all of the lines are end-stopped.
Compare this to Thomas Middleton’s Verse of just a generation or so before. They make Middleton look like an Allen Ginsberg. Notice also, especially with Dryden, how you can extract any one of his couplets and they will more or less make a complete syntactical unit. One tender Sigh of hers to see me languish, Will more than pay the price of my past anguish: The verse is regular Iambic Pentameter with some variant, trochaic first feet. Don’t be fooled by the following line, which some might read as follows: I can die |with her,|| but not live | without her:
Here’s how Dryden means us to read it: I can | die with | her, but | not live | without her: When reading poetry, especially, from this period, always try to read with the meter. The last thing to notice about Dryden’s poem is that, despite the tightly laced poetry, this poem is about sex, sex, sex. The meter itself! Every single line ending is a feminine ending – a sort of metrical double entendre. Every rhyme of the poem is a feminine rhyme (otherwise known as a multiple rhyme) – en-deavor/leave her; please us/seize us. It is chalk full of pornographic double-entendres.
Don’t be fooled by the straight-laced formality of the poetry from this period. Some of the most depraved, erotic and sexual poetry ever written comes from this period. Dryden use of tone in the first stanza tricks the reader into believing that the essence of the poem is about his love for his girlfriend or maybe his wife; but it is much deeper than that. The last line of that stanza goes into what is to come of the nature of the poem. Furthermore the second stanza when considering the word usage further conveys the real theme.
So whats the theme or the subject. line 7 “Beware, O cruel fair how you smile on me”. The occasion in stanza one begins with the attraction he has with this woman then in stanza two it develops into the moment he has with this woman. This is noted by the use of line1,2,3 “ Love has in store for me one happy minute”, “Then no day void of bliss, or pleasure leaving”, “Ages shall slide away without perceiving. “One Happy Moment” by John Dryden because it exemplify the emotions felt by the speaker, yet at the same time it views and feelings on the . Their situations and settings were that he was losing their lovers and feeling the agony of the moment. In both poems the speaker is anguished at the prospect: “I can die with her, but not live without her. ” (Dryden, Line 4)The speaker then comes to the conclusion that the only way to avoid the issue is a solution unfavored by all: “I cannot live with you-it would be life. . . ”, “I could not die-with you. . . ” (Dickinson, Lines 1-2, 13) In Dickinson’s case it is necessary, in Dryden’s case it is the only choice left.

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