posted by Danielle on .
Hi, I'm in need of some help with the poem "Marvell's garden" by Phyllis Web. I'm stuck on what the tone of the poem? and having trouble interpreting the first two stanzas.
I couldn't find a full copy of this poem, but this site may help you.
I can find nothing on the internet on Web's poem about Marvell's Garden. I have not read the poem; perhaps one of the other teachers has.
If not, perhaps you can copy/paste the poem into a question.
Marvell’s garden, that place of solitude,
is not where I’d choose to live
yet is the fixed sundial
that turns me round
is a hot glade
as closer, closer I come to contradiction
to the shade green within the green shade.
The garden where Marvell scorned love’s solicitude –
that dream – and played instead an arcane solitaire,
shuffling his thoughts like shadowy chance
across the shrubs of ecstasy,
and cast the myths away to flowering hours
as yes, his mind, that sea, caught at the green
thoughts shadowing a green infinity.
And yet Marvell’s garden was not Plato’s
garden – and yet – he did care more for the form
of things than for the thing itself –
ideas and visions,
resemblances and echoes,
things seeming and being
not quite what they were.
That was his garden, a kind of attitude
struck out of an earth too carefully attended,
wanting to be left alone.
And I don’t blame him for that.
God knows, too many fences fence us out
and his garden closed in on Paradise.
On Paradise! When I think of his hymning
Puritans in the Bermudas, the bright oranges
lighting up that night! When I recall
his rustling tinsel hopes
beneath the cold decree of steel.
Oh, I have wept for some new convulsion
to tear together this world and his.
But then I saw his luminous plumèd Wings
prepared for flight,
and then I heard him singing glory
in a green tree,
and then I caught the vest he’d laid aside
all blest with fire.
And I have gone walking slowly in
his garden of necessity
leaving brothers, lovers, Christ
outside my walls
where they have wept without
and I within.
How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their incessant labours see
Crowned from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow-verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flowers and trees do close
To weave the garlands of repose!
Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence thy sister dear?
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men.
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow.
Society is all but rude
To this delicious solitude.
No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress' name.
Little, alas, they know or heed
How far these beauties hers exceed!
Fair trees! Where’e’er your barks I wound,
No name shall but your own be found.
When we have run our passion's heat
Love hither makes his best retreat.
The gods, that mortal beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race:
Apollo hunted Daphne so,
Only that she might laurel grow;
And Pan did after Syrinx speed,
Not as a nymph, but for a reed.
What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine, and curious peach,
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flow'rs, I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness -
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight 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 shade.
Here at the fountain's sliding foot,
Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside,
My soul into the boughs does glide:
There like a bird it sits and sings,
Then whets and combs its silver wings,
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.
Such was that happy garden-state,
While man there walked without a mate:
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet!
But 'twas beyond a mortal's share
To wander solitary there:
Two paradises 'twere in one
To live in Paradise alone.
How well the skilful gardener drew
Of flowers and herbs this dial new;
Where from above the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run;
And, as it works, the industrious bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers!
I've posted both poems, since "Marvell's Garden" by Phyllis Webb is related to Andrew Marvel's "The Garden"
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Where does one poem end and the next one begin? Which is which?
Here are some ideas to help you with the term mood:
Let us know what you think, and someone here will be able to give you feedback.
Hey, the poem is about a conflict between man and nature, it has a glorious tone. The narrator is the sun (i.e. nature) who is an awe of Marvell who is one with nature.
this poem is a valuable commentary on a well known poem but it gives a sharp twist and turn to the age-old beliefs and accepted concepts popularised by Marvel in his poem. Phyllis Webb's comparison and contrast of Marvel's Garden to that of Plato by reffering to the key phrased"form of the things and the thing itself"reveal her depth of grasp and ability of analysis. oxymoronic statements like "too many fences fence us out" and "to tear together this world" are samples pf her metaphysical wit.the satirical touch of Phyllis Webb kindles the reader's spirit of humour in lines like"walking in his garden of nessecity/leaving brother's lovers christ outside.