The greatest Marvell poems
Andrew Marvell (1621-78) is widely regarded as one of the greatest English poets of the seventeenth century. His work is often associated with the Metaphysical Poets. But which are Marvell’s best poems? Below we’ve selected ten of Andrew Marvell’s most famous and popular poems and said a little bit about them. Click on the title of each poem to read the poem – and, in several cases, to access more information about it.
‘To His Coy Mistress’. As well as being a seduction lyric, ‘To His Coy Mistress’ is also a carpe diem poem, which argues that we should ‘seize the day’ because life is short. Marvell, addressing his sweetheart, says that the woman’s reluctance to have sex with him would be fine, if life wasn’t so short. But such a plan is a fantasy, because in reality, our time on Earth is short. Marvell says that, in light of what he’s just said, the only sensible thing to do is to enjoy themselves and go to bed together – while they still can. Read the rest of this entry