Natalie K. Eschenbaum

6 Robert Herrick and the five (or six) senses Natalie K. Eschenbaum When you descend to the lower level of the Art Museum of New South Wales, you are greeted with an intense, pungent, but welcoming aroma. Cinnamon, cardamom and cloves – the same spices that lured English Renaissance traders to India – draw you into a room that houses Ernesto Neto’s installation, Just Like Drops in Time, Nothing.1 Dozens of massive semi-transparent tubes of stocking-like fabric hang from the ceiling, weighted down by hundreds of pounds of ground spices. As Neto’s title prompts

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660

This book attempts to interrogate the literary, artistic and cultural output of early modern England. Following Constance Classen's view that understandings of the senses, and sensory experience itself, are culturally and historically contingent; it explores the culturally specific role of the senses in textual and aesthetic encounters in England. The book follows Joachim-Ernst Berendt's call for 'a democracy of the senses' in preference to the various sensory hierarchies that have often shaped theory and criticism. It argues that the playhouse itself challenged its audiences' reliance on the evidence of their own eyes, teaching early modern playgoers how to see and how to interpret the validity of the visual. The book offers an essay on each of the five senses, beginning and ending with two senses, taste and smell, that are often overlooked in studies of early modern culture. It investigates Robert Herrick's accounts in Hesperides of how the senses function during sexual pleasure and contact. The book also explores sensory experiences, interrogating textual accounts of the senses at night in writings from the English Renaissance. It offers a picture of early modern thought in which sensory encounters are unstable, suggesting ways in which the senses are influenced by the contexts in which they are experienced: at night, in states of sexual excitement, or even when melancholic. The book looks at the works of art themselves and considers the significance of the senses for early modern subjects attending a play, regarding a painting, and reading a printed volume.

Open Access (free)
Farah Karim-Cooper

, is discussed in this collection by Natalie Eschenbaum in her chapter on Robert Herrick. Herrick suggests that ‘to sensually engage with things or people is usually to infuse with them, to melt into them, to liquefy’ (p. 115); here the double nature of the senses seems to be invoked deliberately by Herrick in order to express the nature of desire. Equally, the process of sense perception is bound up with the humoral condition of an individual subject. Some of the chapters in this volume are right, MUP_Smith_Printer.indd 218 02/04/2015 16:18 Afterword 219

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
Open Access (free)
Simon Smith, Jackie Watson and Amy Kenny

conjunction of aesthetic detail and utilitarian value in such objects as she examines how a synaesthetic approach to the history of olfaction might contribute to sensory history. The second section explores early modern artistic accounts of the senses collectively, in three particular contexts. Natalie Eschenbaum’s essay ­investigates Robert Herrick’s accounts in Hesperides (1648) of how the senses function during sexual pleasure and contact. Eschenbaum argues that Herrick’s fluid depictions of sensation respond (in a small way) to the tradition of poetic sensoria and (in a

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
Sukanta Chaudhuri

Pastoral Poetry of the English Renaissance contains the text of the poems with brief headnotes giving date, source and other basic information, and footnotes with full annotation.

in Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance