Supping with Ghosts: Imitation and Immortality in Herrick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


The assertion of immortality on the title-page of Hesperides, Effugient avidos Carmina nostra Rogos--a misquotation from Ovid's elegy for Tibullus--is no mere invocation of a literary commonplace. Rather, it points to a nexus of intertextual relations involving poems on death, afterlife, and poetic companionship in Tibullus, Propertius, the Amores and Ovid's exile poetry, which is persistently important to Herrick. Ovid's elegy makes poetic imitation itself integral to its consideration of literary immortality, figuring poetry as an ongoing conversation between poets living and dead. In Herrick's numerous evocations of this group of interrelated poems we see him entering the conversation with his classical predecessors, and extending it to his near contemporaries through beautifully integrated allusions to Dante, Shakespeare, Denham, Cowley, Carew, and above all Jonson.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication‘Lords of Wine and Oile’
Subtitle of host publicationCommunity and Conviviality in the Poetry of Robert Herrick
EditorsRuth Connolly, Tom Cain
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780199604777, 0199604770
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • intertextuality
  • immortality
  • Herrick
  • Ovid
  • Tibullus
  • Propertius
  • Dante
  • Carew
  • Cowley
  • Jonson


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