Advertisements

Blog Archives

‘Upon Appleton House’: A Poem by Andrew Marvell

‘Upon Appleton House’ is an example of a ‘country house poem’. Andrew Marvell (1621-78) wrote the poem for Thomas Fairfax, the father of the girl he was tutoring in the early 1650s, just after the end of the English Civil War, and the poem reflects many of the contemporary political issues of the mid-seventeenth century. ‘Appleton House’ is the Nun Appleton estate belonging to Fairfax in Yorkshire.

Upon Appleton House

i
Within this sober Frame expect
Work of no Forrain Architect;
That unto Caves the Quarries drew,
And Forrests did to Pastures hew; Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

A Short Analysis of Andrew Marvell’s ‘The Garden’

A summary of Marvell’s classic poem

‘The Garden’ is one of Andrew Marvell’s most famous poems, and takes the form of a meditation in a garden; this setting has led critics to interpret the poem as a response to the original biblical garden, Eden, while other commentators have understood the poem as a meditation about sex, political ambition, and various other themes. Its celebrated lines about ‘Annihilating all that’s made / To a green thought in a green shade’ are especially memorable and evocative. Below is ‘The Garden’, followed by a brief summary and analysis of this major Marvell poem.

The Garden

How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their uncessant labours see
Crown’d from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all flow’rs and all trees do close
To weave the garlands of repose.

Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence, thy sister dear!
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men;
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow.
Society is all but rude,
To this delicious solitude. Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of Andrew Marvell’s ‘The Coronet’

A summary of a classic Marvell poem

‘The Coronet’ is a poem by the English Metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell (1621-78). In this post, we offer a brief summary and analysis of ‘The Coronet’, focusing on its language and meaning and suggesting some ways of interpreting this challenging poem.

The Coronet

When for the thorns with which I long, too long,
With many a piercing wound,
My Saviour’s head have crowned,
I seek with garlands to redress that wrong:
Through every garden, every mead,
I gather flowers (my fruits are only flowers),
Dismantling all the fragrant towers
That once adorned my shepherdess’s head. Read the rest of this entry