To His Coy Mistress Beneath The Romance — страница 2

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begins the writing process, simply pondering this possibilities, perfecting how to precisely frame his grand vision. However, this suspension of time implies that the finished product of writing will only manifest itself if one continues to “walk” and “pass,” words which both come to represent the stages of writing beyond simply daydreaming about it. If poetry is indeed his muse, the word muse the implies that one can become so absorbed in thought that he fails to conclusively formulate his idea. Marvel creates a paradox: while time constrains what we are able to achieve, it is this pressure which ultimately impels us to action. Perhaps this creates Marvel’s defense of metaphysical writers, who are notorious for writing in rough verse and direct and simple diction. Such

practices demonstrate their philosophy of emphasis on thought over form. By drawing a parallel between the body of a lover and the structure created by a poet, Marvel uses metaphysical wit to parody the conventional belabored admiration contained in works by Elizabethan love poets. Marvel relates the impossibility of the preposterous claims: “A hundred years should go to praise/ Thine eyes, and on they forehead gaze. / Two hundred to adore each breast. / But thirty thousand to the rest. / An age at least to every part.” The hyperbole suggests the insincerity of writers/lovers and questions their ability because they “love at lower rate,” suggesting that the intellectual force and skill of these writers/lovers becomes diluted by such copious attention to the structural

nature of the work. The second division abruptly departs from this world of slow movement with the announcement that “at my back I always hear/ times winged chariot hurrying year.” The personification of time creates a tangible competition between the writer and an outside force which demands that he work at a predetermined pace, explaining Marvel’s urgent call for his mistress to promptly yield to his desires. He creates consequences for A writer suspended in inactivity and unconscious of time. The image of barren and infertile “[d]eserts of vast eternity” suggests the importance of a writer’s productivity and creation. Storing written material “in thy marble vault” for posterity becomes the equivalent to the procreative act superficially discussed in the poem.

Marvel acknowledges the transient nature of the “virginity,” “quaint honour,” and “beauty” of flesh through the grotesque and contrasting imagery of “ashes” and “worms,” destroying the physical evidence of its existence. Time provides the catalyst for the destruction, which Marvel can evade only through the legacy of his writing. His mortal body will inevitably perish, and he must finish his artistic work before Apollo in his chariots brings the sun of his final day out of the sky. Framing this urgency is an underlying fear, not of death itself because, as he says, “the grave’s a fine and private place,” but of a need for others to “embrace” and understand his artistic voice posthumously. He envisions with horror that his “echoing song” of ideas

and words will simply “turn to dust” and “into ashes all my lust,” underscoring the fear that his ideas will perish if he can not fashion them into a timeless medium. Marvel relates the exigency of actually conquering his coquettish mistress and performing the act of writing, justifying his intention to end the process of lusting after the desired object- perhaps the attainment of consummate expression- in order to immortalize his soul through writing. The third division reflects Marvel’s passionate, yet logical, confrontation with the petulant nature of his writing and demanding that it yield to his mastery. Although under ideal conditions, a writer can always spend more time wooing and courting his writing just as a admirer can endlessly praise his desired object, the

constraint of time necessitate compromise. While Marvel acknowledges his “slow-chapped power,” he argues that one must relate what “thy willing soul transpires” before “our time devours.” If one considers the poem within a scientific context even, “the youthful hue” which “sits on thy skin like morning dew” takes on an ominous tone of times continuos and cyclical progression. Dew is the condensation of water, which occurs during the beginning of each day and is the temperature at which not enough energy exists in the air to promote evaporation. Perhaps Marvel is hinting at the relationship between man and his decreased state of energy with the progression of each day. Ultimately time ensures the cyclical will overcome the man, but he can affirm life by