Metaphysical Poets And Poetry 267

"Epigram: Upon Blood's attempt to steal the Crown." While living at Highgate, he published translations from Seneca and entered into a controversy with Samuel Parker, his old nemesis, in 1672. In 1674, he produced the popular "On Mr. Milton's Paradise Lost" and continued writing politically charged materials. In 1677 Marvell spoke against a bill to secure the Protestant succession in the House of Commons and moved to Great Russell Street in order to sequester bankrupt relatives. He published An Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government anonymously in 1677 and in 1678 traveled to Hull. During his return to London he became ill and died of "ague" at home. He was buried in St. Giles-in-the-Fields.

A 1681 publication of Miscellaneous Poems, with a notice "To the Reader" written by his wife, Mary, contained most of the lyrics for which Marvell is best known, including "The Bermudas," "The Definition of Love," The Garden," "A Dialogue between the Soul and Body," "The Nymph complaining for the Death of Her Fawn," "To His Coy Mistress," and the four poems often considered together as The Mower POEMS, "The Mower against Gardens," "Damon the Mower," "The Mower to the Glowworms," and "The Mower's Song." This publication exists in several different states, causing problems for critics who seek to authenticate its contents. Some editors have excluded some poems on the basis of internal inconsistencies that suggest they do not belong to Marvell. The 1681 collection first appeared as part of a Whig propaganda campaign, according to Nigel Smith. Editions printed soon after lacked the Cromwell poems and indicate interference, possibly by printers or other editors, probably for political reasons. He remains a secretive person, never referencing literature or poetry in correspondence. Unlike Milton, he did not intend to become a major poet who would change forever English verse; nor did he, as John Dryden did, seek a set of new principles to guide English letters. His poetry, however, did reflect philosophical thought regarding the nature of poetry and of those who wrote it, as well as the differences between the public and the private person. He enjoyed exploring the relationship of various forms of art to one another, as well as the meaning of authority, of both a civil and a religious nature.

Most critics agree that Marvell's best poetry did not appear until after his death, and he did not became famous for his lyrics until the 20th century. The 18 th century regarded him as a satirist and pamphleteer, a patriot who encouraged religious tolerance, while two centuries later his prose would hardly be read. Augustan sensibilities could not stomach his poetry, much of which reflected characteristics of metaphysical poets and poetry T. S. Eliot's seminal essay on Marvell in 1921 compared the poet's ability to speak of his age to that of Milton, praising his metaphysical wit. An outpouring of critical study of Marvell's works followed and continues, his poetry easy to find.

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