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The Complete Poems (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 31 Dec 1972


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (31 Dec 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140422137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140422139
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 415,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Marvell, Andrew (1621--78), was one of the English Metaphysical Poets. Educated at Cambridge, he worked as a clerk, traveled abroad, and returned to serve as tutor to Lord Fairfax's daughter in Yorkshire. In 1657 he was appointed John Milton's assistant in the Latin secretaryship, and in 1659 he was elected to Parliament, where he served until his death. He was one of the chief wits and satirists of his time as well as being a Puritan and a public defender of individual liberty. Today, however, he is known chiefly for his brilliant lyric poetry, which includes The Garden, The Definition of Love, Bermudas, and To His Coy Mistress, and for his Horatian Ode to Cromwell.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mike Collins on 6 Oct 2010
Format: Paperback
Reading the love poetry of John Donne is like attending a poetical fireworks display, all whooshing imagery and fizzing conceits designed to get the reader oohing-and-ahhing and admiring the cleverness of his combustible talents. Move on to Andrew Marvell and you'll have a calmer time altogether, though he is no less impressive than Donne, with effects effortlessly generated and carried off with the quiet assurance of a first-class intellect married to a subtle imagination. Marvell wrote during Cromwell's Commonwealth and then the Restoration, so he needed all his adaptive powers just to survive. His poetry is as understated and subtle as the man himself seemed to be (we don't know much about his private life) and is a sheer delight to read. Give him a go: you'll be glad you did. Addendum July 2013: the sixth stanza of The Garden is one of the best pieces of English poetry I have ever read and could have been written today. What a genius this man was.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Sturgess on 10 Sep 2007
Format: Paperback
It is instructive that this is the first review of a great poet who has written at least 3 poems which will last as long as the English language lasts. He is studied at university level, but, it seems, ignored elsewhere. Here you can pick up his sublime work for 0.01p ! Buy, buy, buy - for yourself, your family, your friends. (Learn and recite from memory "To His Coy Mistress").
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Format: Paperback
A Marvell is a marvell. I spent several years of my life on this book, and of course his delightful prose satires mostly of clerics, such as his Rehearsal Transpros'd, and I have never regretted a minute of it. The book I wrote on him, This Critical Age: Deliberate Departures from Literary Conventions
in Seventeenth Century English Poetry, was published by the U MI doctorate mill. It's in one German library, at the University where Pope Benedict XVI once taught and administered. I cannot claim he ordered it, but...
Directing my thesis was the delightful Leonard Unger (U MN), who with his friend Saul Bellow once composed, over lunch, a translation of the first four lines of Eliot's Wasteland--into Yiddish. Leonard had an expansive mind, and broadened my studies of Marvell into comparative European literature-- since Marvell tutored languages to Lord General Fairfax's daughter. They lived near Hull at Appleton House, after Fairfax retired as head of Cromwell's army at age 33, because of his refusal to participate in the trial of Charles I; when Fairfax's name was read in Westminster Hall, a voice called out, "He has too much sense to be here." This caused a mini-riot; it was his wife's voice, Anne Vere's. The following day, someone tried the same thing, and was branded.
In his "Garden," Marvell writes perhaps the best lines in all lit on the human mind, especially in the midst of nature, "The Mind, that Ocean where each kind/ Does streight its own resemblance find,/ Yet it creates, transcending these,/ Far other Worlds, and other Seas,/ Annihilating all that's made/ To a green Thought, in a green Sade." His environmentalist lines in the same poem criticize Fond lovers' carving names in trees. "Fair trees!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Remains very satisfactory 29 Dec 2001
By Joost Daalder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have used this edition of Marvell's poems for many years in teaching. I also once wrote a brief article about a mistake in it, but for the most part consider the edition very satisfactory. The appearance of *Andrew Marvell: Pastoral and Lyric Poems 1681* (University of Western Australian Press, 2000) has led me to re-appraise Donno's work. The UWA edition is really a selection, and its text is less good than Donno's, though it offers far more - and very rewarding - annotation. This should be of help for specialised work. But Donno offers perfectly adequate help to the average student; she presents ALL of the poems, and she does so in a responsibly modernised, clear text. This continues to be the edition which most academic teachers will want to prescribe, and it is of significance to scholars, too. - Joost Daalder, Professor of English, Flinders University (South Australia)
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A Few Marvelous (pun intended) Poems 27 July 2008
By B. H. Stewart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like all the Penquin Classics, this paperback edition of all of Andrew Marvell's poems is attractive, well-bound, and uses a nice, decent-sized, very readable font.

Though the "mower poems" and To His Coy Mistress contain some of the most beautiful lines in all poetry, so much of Marvell's work consists of lengthy, politically themed poems that are usually centered on some event that was occurring during the poet's life. It's a real pity he did not write more of the shorter, lyrical poems that he excelled at. Two poems, "The Mower Against Gardens" and "The Garden" are among my favorites. One enumerates the many delights of having a garden; the other notes that gardens are not as beautiful as natural wildflower meadows where everything grows in delightful chaos, and admonishes gardeners for taking tropical plants and transplanting them in cold, alien environments. The handful of incomparable poems in this volume make it a collection worth having. And if you also enjoy the political poems, it's great having all the poems in one book.
Two hundred to adore each breast 7 Oct 2014
By Paying Guest - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A Marvell is a marvell. I spent several years of my life on this book, and of course his delightful prose satires mostly of clerics, such as his Rehearsal Transpros'd, and I have never regretted a minute of it. The book I wrote on him, This Critical Age: Deliberate Departures from Literary Conventions
in Seventeenth Century English Poetry, was published by the U MI doctorate mill. It's in one German library, at the University where Pope Benedict XVI once taught and administered. I cannot claim he ordered it, but...
Directing my thesis was the delightful Leonard Unger (U MN), who with his friend Saul Bellow once composed, over lunch, a translation of the first four lines of Eliot's Wasteland--into Yiddish. Leonard had an expansive mind, and broadened my studies of Marvell into comparative European literature-- since Marvell tutored languages to Lord General Fairfax's daughter. They lived near Hull at Appleton House, after Fairfax retired as head of Cromwell's army at age 33, because of his refusal to participate in the trial of Charles I; when Fairfax's name was read in Westminster Hall, a voice called out, "He has too much sense to be here." This caused a mini-riot; it was his wife's voice, Anne Vere's. The following day, someone tried the same thing, and was branded.
In his "Garden," Marvell writes perhaps the best lines in all lit on the human mind, especially in the midst of nature, "The Mind, that Ocean where each kind/ Does streight its own resemblance find,/ Yet it creates, transcending these,/ Far other Worlds, and other Seas,/ Annihilating all that's made/ To a green Thought, in a green Sade." His environmentalist lines in the same poem criticize Fond lovers' carving names in trees. "Fair trees! where s'eer your barkes I wound/ No names shall but your own be found." He puts this into practice in his Latin version of the same poem, "Hortus." He says he will carve "nullla Naera, or Chloe, but Plane tree and Elm, Plantanus ...Ulmus.
Marvell had a marvelous ear, so that even in his funny prose satirizing the bishops (whom, like Milton, he generally opposed) he writes with amusing alliteration, on Archbishop Parker's sexual peccadilloes, "The sympathy of silk brought tippet to petticoat, and petticoat to tippet."
My study emphasizes that all of Marvell's poems are criticism of other poems, in verse. Many of them critique the pastoral convention then so prevalent, like "Picture of Little T.C. in a Prospect of Flowers," and "The Garden." His most famous poem, "To his Coy Mistress," unprecedented and unreiterated in his canon, critiques Carpe Diem poems, including many sonnets. (Shakespeare's "My Mistress' Eyes" also critiques sonnet conventions, as do a a few of Sidney's sonnets.) In fact, English poets until Dryden usually included criticism of other poems--Donne, Jonson, Herbert, Herrick, Carew, Suckling, Cleveland. After Dryden, criticism became a prose landscape. Too bad. With this loss, poetry became famously non-analytical. But why? Many Renaissance poems discourse on natural philosophy, what we call "science." Cowley in English, Giordano Bruno in Latin. (My last two books are on G Bruno.)
3 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Decent 19 May 2005
By Brian Okabayashi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While Andrew Marvell, was an influential poet in the 17th Century and while his poetry and prose is still a testament to the English language, this collection lacks the emphasis on his excellent shorter poems that use brilliant and sharp language and instead focuses on his lengthy plays that are dry and convoluted. Maybe another version would be better, check his poetry online to decide which volume to buy.
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