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Song to Celia ("Drink to me only with thine eyes")

Song to Celia ("Drink to me only with thine eyes")


by Ben Jonson

Analysis: Speaker

The speaker of "To Celia" is like your buddy. Imagine, who's really into writing poetry. He likes to test out new metaphors (his latest one involves a comparison between flirting and drinking) wear funny hats, and hang out at Starbucks. Lately, he's been raising his cup of coffee and toasting girls he sees. Sometimes, he'll write a poem about somebody he sees at the café, tear out the sheet from his notebook, and deliver it.

Your friend is really educated, and last time you checked, he was planning on majoring in Classics. He knows his Greek and Latin really well – so well, in fact, that he has fun making totally obscure allusions Greek and Roman literature in his poetry. And when we say obscure we mean obscure. One poem that he wrote to a girl named Celia is even based on the writings of an ancient dude named Philostratus. See what we mean?

The last time you saw your buddy, just the other day, he was carrying a really nice wreath. "What are you doing with that?" you asked him. "Oh, I'm taking it to Starbucks, and I'm going to give it to Celia. She's so divine, man, maybe this wreath will live forever in her presence." You just shake your head, smile, and tell yourself there are some things you will never understand.

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