During this week’s lesson I was nervous to dive into poems because I know there are many different spectrums poems can fall under. A lot of times I have to read one poem at least 3 times to have an understanding of the author’s message. Before I read my assigned poem The Nymph’s Reply, I was encouraged to first read The Passionate Shepherd to His Love. I am glad I followed the suggestion because it helped me out when I read my assigned poem.

The Nymph’s Reply was a poem I had to re-read 3 times because I wanted to make sure I understood it. The poem written by Sir Walter Ralegh was very sarcastic and I was surprised. This poem is a response to a plead for a relationship and love from The Passionate Shepherd to His Love written by Christopher Marlowe. The response the author fires back is not believing love will last and not wanting to accept the offer of a courtship. This is evident in the following quote; “Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of Roses, / Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies, / Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten” (Ralegh 13-15). In the text the shepherd is saying be realistic about things changing and feeling like love will not last.

One element of poetic form that I recognized when I read The Nymph’s Reply is the six four-line stanzas. After reading over the poem a few times are rhyme I noticed a great rhyme scheme Ralegh keeps going throughout the poem just like Marlowe did in his poem. The rhyme scheme is AABB.


Muller, Gilbert H. and John A. Williams. “Reading and Responding to Literature and Film.” ENGL 200: Composition and Literature. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. 2-18. Web. 12 August 2011.