To His Coy Mistress Beneath The Romance — страница 3
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controlling the day through writing. Writing becomes a courtship that involves hunter-like aggressiveness. Ideas sit “at every pore with instant fires,” but they must be captured “like amorous birds of prey” before the “instant fires are extinguished.” The hunting process becomes a metaphorical representation of the intellectual exercises sought by metaphysical writers. Poetry manifests the immortal soul because, although his body will eventually decay, his mistress, poetry, is free from “the iron gates of life,” creating the further subject/object distinction between the poet and his work. The hunter pleas with his writing to merge with his will so the earlier distinction between himself and his lover (writing) can unite in mutual achievement: “Let us roll all our strength, and all/ Our sweetness, up into one ball.” Marvel “will make him [time] run” and achieve victory over time when he is able to “stand still” and transform his ideas into a lasting form. The sexual level of “To His Coy Mistress” is so apparent as to suggest that Marvel, a man who loved intellectual games, is advancing a more complex message. One of the hallmarks of metaphysical poets is the practice of metaphysical conceit, which is a figure of speech that employs unconventional and paradoxical images. Marvel engages in the challenging task of relating the struggles of a writer trying to direct his energy and ideas into a concrete format to the attempts of a lover trying to convince another to engage in sexual relations. The syllogistic framework of the poem seems to support the implausibility of such a relationship, but Marvel succeeds with his logical progression in formulating a unique perspective of a writer’s plight. By constantly shifting its pace, the poem redefines the conception of time, asking one to consider how an artist must control his medium within time’s constraints. The audience feels itself being gently introduced to the endless possibilities of the exploration of ideas just before entering a race against time to understand the frustration, fear and the ultimate explosion of excitement accompanying the writing experience. Marvel succeeds in validating the metaphysical tenets of prose, but only if the audience is clever enough to read beneath the romance.