22. Francis Quarles. "Hieroglyph IX," 1638.
Published here in: Francis Quarles. Emblems, divine and moral; together with Hieroglyphicks of the life of man. London: Printed for A. Bettesworth, J. Batley, and T. Combes, et al., 1723.
Rare Book Collection. Gift of Robert Voitle.

Francis Quarles is known to have written at least five shaped poems, most of them published in editions of Hieroglyphicks. As befits the name of the collection, the visual poems within hark back to symbols that are as old as the Egyptian pyramids. His other poems also hew to classically symbolic forms including the "wings" and the "lozenge" (or egg or mandorla), as well as a newly popular "hourglass" shape. In this pyramidal poem, the stanzas are meant to suggest the piling of sand in the bottom of an hourglass; the overall poem meditates upon the brevity of man's life.

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