Study Guide

To Althea, from Prison Art and Culture

By Richard Lovelace

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Art and Culture

When, like committed linnets, I
With shriller throat shall sing
The sweetness, mercy, majesty,
And glories of my King; (17-20)

Singing and poetry are often closely linked. Here, the speaker suggests that he will write a poem in celebration of his king, even though he is in prison. The rhyme on "king" and "sing" is interesting, for it suggests that there may be a close relationship between politics (the king) and art (song).

When I shall voice aloud how good
He is, how great should be, (21-22)

To "voice aloud" one's opinion implies that lots of people will hear it. It also seems to be a metaphor for publishing poetry, or anything for that matter. A "loud voice" can be heard by lots of people; lots of people will "hear," or read, the poem when it is published.

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