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Monday, June 29, 2015

Andrew Marvell

Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)
sketch by Ruralhistorian, 2012
(source: wikimedia)
no copyright infringement intended

poet and politician, a lifelong friend of John Milton (after the Restoration he helped convince the government of Charles II not to execute Milton for his revolutionary writings and activity - info source: wiki), also author of anonymous prose satires defending the Puritans and criticizing monarchy and Catholicism; as a poet was associated together with John Donne and others within the Metaphysical movement of the seventeenth century; well, these poets were far from being aware about their affiliation to any group; it was the history of English literature that put the authors and their works in carefully arranged categories; on the other hand, as it grouped (very loosely) together Donne and Marvell (along with others, as I said), maybe it's good to refer briefly to this so-called Metaphysical poetry (term coined about hundred years later by Samuel Johnson with some slang connotation, by the way): characteristic was the presence of speculation on love and religion throughout their Ĺ“uvre, and their way of pushing the conceit (i.e. extended metaphor) toward the paradox; according to Helen Louise Gardner, a (Metaphysical) conceit is a comparison whose ingenuity is more striking than its justness, and also a comparison becomes a conceit when we are made to concede likeness while being strongly conscious of unlikeness (source: Helen Gardner, The Metaphysical Poets, Penguin, 1967); to grasp all this stuff I need to bring here such a poem, by Donne, or Marvell, or some other Metaphysician (or maybe Metaphysicist), whichever comes first, and especially to bring it before too long, hopefully :)

(A Life in Books)



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