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Edited by Bill Hutchings
Categories: 17th Century
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (220 pages)
(Pub. Jan 1991)
Out of Stock
`The quality which Marvell had, this modest and certainly impersonal virtue-whether we call it wit or reason, or even urbanity . . . By whatever name we call it, and however we define that name, it is something precious and needed and apparently extinct; it is what should preserve the reputation of Marvell.'
-T. S. Eliot.
Marvell's oeuvre must be one of the smallest of any major English poet, but that he is a major poet is no longer contested. Very little is known of his life: he was born in 1621, in Yorkshire; he tutored the daughter of the parliamentarian general Thomas Fairfax at Nun Appleton; he spent some time abroad; he was a friend of Milton's and MP for Hull 1659-1677. His poems range from the public 'An Horatian Ode Upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland', perhaps the greatest political poem in English, to the exquisite lyricism of 'The Mower to the Glow-worms'.
As Philip Larkin wrote, 'What still compels attention to Marvell's work is the ease with which he manages the fundamental paradox of verse-the conflict of natural word usage with metre and rhyme-and marries it either to hallucinatory images within his own unique conventions or to sudden sincerities that are as convincing in our age as in his.'
Click the links for sample poems.
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