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Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount

Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount


by Ben Jonson

Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Is it possible to read, understand, and get anything out of this poem without knowing its context? In other words, do you have to know the story of Echo and Narcissus in order to appreciate the poem?
  2. Does the fact that the poem was originally in a play change the way you read it? Does the fact that the poem occurs in a satirical or comedic play make the poem seem any less sad?
  3. Big Question Alert: What do you think "our beauties are not ours" really means?
  4. What's with all the nature imagery in this poem? Do you think Echo projects her grief onto nature, or is nature full of grief all on its own?
  5. Does the rhyme scheme and metrical pattern make this poem seem more or less sad?
  6. Does the fact that the full title of the play in which this poem appears is Cynthia's Revels, or The Fountain of Self-Love change the way you read this poem? In other words, could Echo be addressing the fountain of self-love in the first few lines? Does this affect the way you see her grief?

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