“ To His Coy Mistress ” Summary
If we had all the time within the world, your prudishness wouldn’t be a drag. we might sit together and choose the way to spend the day. you’d walk by the river Ganges in India and find rubies; I might walk by the river Humber in England and write my poems. I might love you from the very start of your time, even before the Biblical Flood; you’ll refuse to consummate our relationship until the apocalypse. My slow-growing love would gradually become bigger than the most important empires. I might spend 100 years praising your eyes and gazing at your forehead and 2 hundred years on each of your breasts. I might dedicate thirty thousand years to the remainder of your body and provides an era of human history to every a part of you. within the final age, your heart would reveal itself. Lady, you deserve this type of dedication—and I do not want to simply accept any lesser quite love.
But I’m always conscious of time, the way it flies by. For us, the longer-term is going to be a huge, unending desert for all of your time. Your beauty is going to be lost. within the grave, my songs in praise of you’ll not be heard. And worms will take the virginity you so carefully protected during life. Your honor will address dust and my desire will address ashes. The grave could also be a quiet, private place—but nobody has sex there.
Therefore, while your beauty sits right at the surface of your skin, and each pore of your body exudes erotic passion, let’s roll in the hay while we will. Let’s devour time like lovesick birds of prey rather than lying about letting time eat away at us. Let’s put together our strength and our sweetness and use it as a weapon against the iron gates of life. We might not be ready to defeat time during this way, but a minimum of we will make it exerting to require us. To His Coy Mistress read more…
Marvell wrote this poem within the classical tradition of a Latin love elegy, during which the speaker praises his mistress or lover through the motif of carpe diem, or “seize the day.” The poem also reflects the tradition of the erotic blazon, during which a poet constructs elaborate images of his lover’s beauty by carving her body into parts. Its poem consists of rhymed couplets in iambic tetrameter, proceeding as AA, BB, CC, then forth.
The speaker begins by constructing a radical and elaborate conceit of the various things he “would” do to honor the woman properly if the 2 lovers indeed had enough time. He posits impossible stretches of your time during which the 2 might play games of courtship. He claims he could love her from ten years before the Biblical flood narrated within the Book of Genesis, while the woman could refuse his advances up until the “conversion of the Jews,” which refers to the day of Christian judgment prophesied for the top of times within the New Testament’s Book of Revelations. To His Coy Mistress read more…
The speaker then uses the metaphor of a “vegetable love” to suggest a slow and steady growth which may increase to vast proportions, perhaps encoding a phallic suggestion. this can allow him to praise his lady’s features – eyes, forehead, breasts, and heart – in increments of hundreds and even thousands of years, which he says that the woman deserves thanks to her superior stature. He assures the woman that he would never value her at a “lower rate” than she deserves, a minimum of in a perfect world where time is unlimited.
Marvell praises the lady’s beauty by complimenting her features employing a device called an erotic blazon, which also evokes the influential techniques of 15th and 16th century Petrarchan love poetry. Petrarchan poetry is predicated upon rarifying and distancing the feminine beloved, making her into an unattainable object. during this poem, though, the speaker only uses these devices to suggest that distancing himself from his lover makes no sense because they are doing not have the limitless time necessary for the speaker to praise the woman sufficiently. He, therefore, constructs an erotic blazon only to say its futility.
The poem’s mood shifts inline 21 when the speaker asserts that “Time’s winged chariot” is usually near. The speaker’s rhetoric changes from an acknowledgment of the Lady’s limitless virtue to insisting on the novel limitations of their time as embodied beings. Once dead, he assures the woman, her virtues and her beauty will dwell the grave alongside her body because it turns to dust. Likewise, the speaker imagines his lust being reduced to ashes, while the prospect for the 2 lovers to hitch sexually is going to be lost forever. To His Coy Mistress read more…
The third and final section of the poem shifts into an all-out plea and display of poetic prowess during which the speaker attempts to convert the woman. He compares the Lady’s skin to a vibrant layer of morning dew that’s animated by the fires of her soul and encourages her to “sport” with him “while we may.” Time devours all things, the speaker acknowledges, but he nonetheless asserts that the 2 of them can turn the tables on time. they will become “amorous birds of prey” that actively consume the time they need through passionate lovemaking.
To His Coy Mistress To His Coy Mistress To His Coy Mistress To His Coy Mistress