Essay The Poetry of Andrew Marvell and John Donne

Essay The Poetry of Andrew Marvell and John Donne

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The Poetry of Andrew Marvell and John Donne


The seventeenth century was an era of beautiful poetry. Two poets in particular, Andrew Marvell and John Donne, wrote carpe diem poetry full of vivid imagery and metaphysical conceits. Each conveyed the message of "living for the now." This message can be clearly seen in the poems "To his Coy Mistress" by Marvell and Donne’s "Flea." By using clever metaphors and meter, the poems not only are symbolic, but have almost a physical aspect to them. Though both poems take a similar approach, it is Marvell that writes the more persuasive one, reaching deep into the soul to win his object of affection.

The main theme of Marvell’s poem is to "seize the day." The speaker is trying to convince the woman that it is much better to have sex now than to save her virginity for the future. The man wants to experience the pleasure now, while the woman would rather save herself until they are married. Marvell’s message here seems to be that we shouldn’t be worrying so much about exactly when and where to do things, but just to take things as they come and enjoy them. This theme relates to all aspects of life, not just sex.

The rhyme scheme follows a standard AA, BB, CC, etc., couplet pattern. A few of the lines are irregular however. Lines 23 and 24 rhyme "lie" with "eternity," and lines 27 and 28 rhyme "try" with "virginity." It is interesting to not that lie rhymes with try, just as eternity rhymes with virginity. Marvell used this tec...

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