Sunday 26 September 2021

Assess Andrew Marvell as a Metaphysical Poet | English literature notes


Assess Andrew Marvell as a Metaphysical Poet
Andrew Marvell as a Metaphysical Poet

In Andrew Marvell is found a poet of age whose conspicuous gift has secured for him a place next to John Milton among the poets of his age. His poetry bears out his Puritan patriotism, broad humanism, metaphysical wit, and commendable technique, with the novelty of the syllogistic structure in poetry. 

Andrew Marvell is usually classed with metaphysical poets, although the lyrical elements of the Elizabethans are notably marked in him. He is certainly one of the most successful lyricists, who flourished in the middle of the 17th century. Marvell’s great lyrics can be ranked with the best works of his contemporaries and bear fully the varied characteristics of lyrical poetry. In poems, like The Garden, his lyrical appreciation of natural beauty reaches the height of excellence.

The poet seems to throw himself into the very soul of the garden with the imaginative splendor of Shelley as seen in ode to the west wind. At the same time, his poem is as meaningful, as Shelley's as seen in ode to the west wind. At the same time, his poem is as meaningful, like Shelley's, although this is much more restrained in impulsiveness and much more intellectual in approach. The moral, derived by him from the quiet bosom of nature, is a deep as found in Wordsworth.

“Society is all but rude,

To this delicious solitude”. (The Garden)

As a poet, Marvell is as much versatile as Donne, He is, of course, no religious poet like him or his followers Herbert and Vaughan. He is chiefly a Secular poet with highly poetic speculations on the diverse matters of interest. But, like Donne, he is no less prominent, as a love-poet and among the metaphysical love-poets, his place is very close to Donne’s. two of his love poems, The Definition of Love and To His Coy Mistress, reveal the Marvell of his poetic treatment of love, which is an original as Donne’s. The poet proceeds to construct a sort of syllogism, a form of reasoning, in which the conclusion is deduced from different propositions. It is not the outburst of any passion, but the play of intellect that determines the strength of his love poetry.

Marvell possesses the characteristics features of a great poet. His poetry has both imaginative excellence and emotional profoundly, both lofty thoughts and melodious versification, both majestic utterances and intellectual restraint. He may not be claimed as an equal to his great contemporary Milton. But he comes very close to him in his scholarly element of wit and subtlety which is absent in Miltonic verses. He is also the just descendant of Donne as a metaphysical poet and displays like him, a rare combination of wit and seriousness, poetry and intellect. Some of Marvell’s remarkable poems include Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland, The Garden, Dialogue between the soul and the body, Bermudas, The Definition of love and a Drop of Dew, Eyes, and Tears, To his coy mistress and a good many other lyrics. It is, however, to be noted that all his poems clearly bear out that Marvell is a true poet who does not conform to any tradition but remains unmistakably new and individual.

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