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7 October 2022
Episode 5 - Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” - Part 1
What do we do with–how do we read–can we make us of–a classic and famous metaphysical poem which is also misogynistic?
01:10 Marvell and TS Eliot
04:00 Metaphysical Poetry
08:23 Reading: Marvell’s “Coy Mistress”
11:07 A Quick Breakdown
16:51 Carpe DiemSimply translated as "Pluck" or "Seize" "the Day," it is the... More
20:43 Christian and Pagan
27:51 What’s Ahead
To His Coy Mistress
Andrew Marvell, 1681
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side,
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honor turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now 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.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
Complete Resources: https://waywordsstudio.com/project/marvell/
The Waywords Podcast is the primary program of Waywords Studio (https://waywordsstudio.com). The podcast posts new material each week, with deep-dive examinations of literature around some common questions or themes and 1-3 smaller supplemental episodes in between the larger programs.
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Original music by Randon Myles (https://randonmyles.com/)
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Chisnell, Steve. “Marvell’s ‘To His Coy Mistress’ - Part 1.” Waywords Studio, 7 October 2022, https://waywordsstudio.com/project/marvell/.