Poems Analysis: “Georgies” and “To Penshurst”
Representation of labor
In the poem Georgics, by Roman Virgil, the main labor activity is peasantry which is mostly undertaken by people who are low in the social class definition. These people are seen to live in small houses which the can manage. Those who don’t have farms, work for the rich. On the other hand, Ben Johnson’s poem, To Penshurst, rich people are depicted own not only in big houses but also in powerhouses. The rich are seen to have strong political influences in the countryside (Coventry, 23). It is in this regard that, Johnson uses Penshurst to criticize flamboyant countryside residents and encourage modesty.
Valorization of country life
In the poem Georgies, it is seen that people had a devotion towards agriculture and farming life even though their crops, vines, cattle, and olives yielded either reward or disappointments depending on how hard they work (YOUNG, 10). He is seen glorifying countryside life by the fact that soldiers who returned from military campaigns occupied agriculture as a main activity in the country, as a sign of showing their patriotism to the Roman nation.
On the other hand, the poem, To Penshurst, views the countryside in another dimension, according to this poem the countryside is viewed as a place where people who were tired of city life would go build houses so as to display their wealth.
Valorization of landowners
According to Virgil, peasant landowner makes good of their lands through farming. On the other hand. Johnson sees landowners, especially those who are rich, as greed people. Through politics, these people have been able to make wealth and they have also rented their lands while they live in the cities.
The role of Virgil was shown the importance of farming and the countryside. On the other hand, Johnson demonstrates the aspects of capitalism and communism as seen in this extract “thy lords own meat… here no man tells my cup…That is his lordship also shall be mine” (Sydney, 45). The extract above was from a ceremony that the community had set and the kings who came regarded everyone equal.
Poet’s use of verse to promote social reform and maintain class sustainability
Class sustainability is foster by countryside. People who are left in the countryside, farmers, are regarded to be in the low social class while those who work in the cities, military, to be higher in social classes (Douglas, 12). However, through verse development military soldiers go home to farm after their military campaign. This reunion leads to class sustainability.
Johnson uses verse to verse progression shows to show how communism is built and its importance. From the coming together, eating, having more than enough food to eat and commune. He shows that Penshurst is a place where people can come together and become one, mingling with people like kings, who are of higher social status.
Coventry, Francis. Penshurst. London: Printed for R. Dodsley, and Sold by M. Cooper, 1750.
YOUNG, Alexander Waugh. Georgies, I., II. Edited by A. Waugh Young. W.B Clive: London, 1927.
Sydney, Philip. The Sydney of Penshurst. London: S.H Bousfield & Co., ld, 1901.
Douglas, George Brisbane. The border breed, Georgies, and Pastoral and other poems. Czech Republic: Bell and Daldy, 1909.