The Power of Metaphysical Poetry Essay

Submitted By JLakaJDOG
Words: 1519
Pages: 7

Julian Lanier
Dr. Carenen
ENG 113-G
The Power of Metaphysical Poetry Poetry, in relation to writing, is one of the most artistic and intellectual types of compositions. But, what is poetry? Also what is Metaphysical Poetry and what power does it hold? Poetry is rhythmic writing that expresses one’s feeling, thoughts, ideals, and situations through intellectual thought. Metaphysical Poetry takes this to the extreme by not only expressing one’s feelings, thoughts, ideals, and situations, but uses intense imagery, insightful paradoxes, irony, and thoughtful metaphors to portray, and accomplish their lyrical ideas. (Cook) Through the reading of “To His Coy Mistress” the author Andrew Marvell uses metaphysical poetry and its power to convey his feeling toward a woman and to win over her affection. “To His Coy Mistress” is one of the most popular of metaphysical poetry. He uses all aspects of metaphysical poetry throughout the composition such as, intense imagery, paradoxes, irony, and metaphors. With the lines, “I would Love you ten years before the Flood, And you should, if you please, refuse Till the Conversion of the Jews.,” (Marvell 861) Andrew Marvell uses a this metaphor which means that he loved her before the great flood during Moses’s time, and that he will wait for her affection until the conversation of the Jews which to this day still has not happened. With this the audience gets the expression that he is in deep love with her or lying to get her affection quicker. Marvell also mentions that “let us sport us while we may; and now, like amorous birds of prey, Rather at once our time devour, Than languish in his slow-chapped power. (862) Which gives her, the women of his dreams/or not, the image of how much he loves her and the importance of beating time to the finish line. While showing his love toward her he uses imagery to express it as well not just through metaphors. Werlock’s idea of imagery is that “the term refers to the collection or pattern of images, the representations of the sensory details in a literary work. Images typically employ one or more of the five senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell).” (Werlock) For example in “To His Coy Mistress” Marvell compares his erect penis to that of a vegetable that will grow bigger than an empire. (Marvell 861) Meaning that he will have his thoughts and love about her for the rest of his life and it will only grow as time progresses. With this he again shows her that he loves her and that his affection, and love for her will never perish. Then Marvell switches to different aspect of his love for her talking about how they do not have that much time because he “always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near, and yonder all before us lie.” (Marvell 861) Meaning that they have limited time and will die eventually due to the fact that they are not immortal. Which shows his mistress that they need to hurry and not wait so long to engage in a physical and emotional trials that come with marriage, while not hinting toward marriage. Therefore, meaning that he wants to be with her whether or not they are married. The next part of metaphysical poetry that Marvell uses during this work was that of a paradox. But, what is a paradox? According to Brackett,
In literature a statement classified as paradox appears to be true but simultaneously contains a contradiction that defies reader intuition. Upon examination the statement, or group of statements, or lines in poetry, may not be true or may not all be true within the same proposition. In another situation a group of lines upon closer study do not actually contradict each other. Marvell uses a huge paradox in “To His Coy Mistress” by talking about how much he loves her, and how much time he would do doing such. The time span he claims is longer then he can live. He then makes the paradox more interesting by then switching to the aspect that they do not have a long time left for the actions that he wants