29 August, 2006

My Heroes: (13) Andrew Marvell

Andrew Marvell 1621-1678
Marvell is included in this series because of one fabulous poem that he wrote. If you would like to know more about his interesting life click here. However my personal admiration is based purely on this, his most famous work which I have reproduced below. Don't be decieved by the language of this poem; it's message is 'Get your knickers off. Now!'
To His Coy Mistress
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews;
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state;
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor in thy marble vault shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity;
And you quaint honor turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power,
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

11 Comments:

Blogger Rob said...

Obviously men took their time in courting ladies in those days. I can't imagine anyone from the Ibiza set coming up with such a poem.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006  
Blogger gem said...

Lord, lord, bazza, that was beautiful. I'm verklempt. I actually teared up. FYI, I have no problem with men writing poems about the knickers coming up. They get me where I live. I'm wondering what he meant by "vegetable love." Do you know? Or is it just one of those things like other works of fine art, in which vegetable love means what we want it to mean?

FYI, I love your site. May I link it to my blog.

Your friend in the states,

gale

Wednesday, August 30, 2006  
Blogger Mimi Lenox said...

Bazza.....You are in fine company. I linked to your blog from a comment you made on mine and found my writer friend, Gale, here too!
I remember studying this in college - and blushing as a very handsome professor read it out loud to the class. Thanks for bringing back that memory! (I'm blushing again).
I do enjoy this site and will come back when I have time to read more of my favorite literary heroes. BTW - I don't just write "dating fluff"...there's a serious side to Mimi, even if she's feeling a bit incognito at the moment.
Mimi Lenox

Wednesday, August 30, 2006  
Blogger jim said...

Vegetable love? I don't know. It is a poem that I remember from some time ago, all I know of the Poet. As a poem, it was always my favorite because the 'meaning' just floats or hovers over the actual literal words. I like that, gives very 'seeable' dimension of language, strong and capable usage, if I find time I will read more of his work, see if he was consistent in this quality.

Thanks for a treat Bazza. Keep your knickers up! (sorry, I just had to say that, lol.)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006  
Blogger jim said...

I just followed the link and read some on him, very interesting, I saved it and will read some more of his work. Thanks for the link Bazza.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Rob: That's a very funny remark. For non-UK readers I will explain: Ibiza (pronounced as Ibeetha) is a Mediterranean island where hoards of British teenagers and twentysomethings go for sun, sand and sex. It's portrayed in the British tabloid press as slightly more debauched than Sodom & Gomorrah.

Gem/Gale: That's a really nice comment with a lovely yiddish word that has no exact equivalent in English (it means 'choked up with emotion'). I suppose that 'vegetable love' is something that grows slowy and maybe metaphorically will eventually 'bare fruit'!
Please do link here. I will do the same to your site with your permission in the near future (I have a few others to do as well)

Mimi: This all a bit incestuous! I found your site randomly and got to Gale's though a comment there. I did take a brief look at your other site and I will return. Thanks for your visit and kind words.

Jim: Marvell was known as one the seventeenth century 'Metaphysical poets'. With that in mind your desciption of how the meaning seems to 'float above the words' may be spot on!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006  
Blogger Deepak Gopi said...

Hallo Sir,
This poem is in the syllabus for those who opt English as main subject for graduation.
I have read of this restaurant,run by a man from South India?
We cound not think of any food item without pepper and chillies.
I believe that the most delicious food are served by the state of Tamil nadu.
While thinking about the food itself water is coming from my mouth.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Deepak: A charming comment, as usual. My comment on your blog was not really serious! There are thousands of Indian restaurants in the UK and lots of them are very good. I was only ill on one occassion.

Thursday, August 31, 2006  
Blogger jim said...

I have the answer to 'vegetable love', it is a metaphysical referent to the concept of states of desire as 'soul', the vegetable kingdom is 'inanimate' moving in one place, a very slow and unhurried 'love', lol. I think that is it. The only 'love' slower is the 'mineral', it is 'still', not moving at all, outwardly.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006  
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