Lesson Questions for Today:
As with the last poem, this poem also is based on the theme of carpe diem. Also, the writer is again trying to convince women to live and love for the moment.
This poem is the most famous invitation to love in English. Nobody has ever assumed that Marvell, a bachelor, was writing to a particular woman, yet the poem is much deeper than others of its kind. In the poem, the speaker talks about human mortality very vividly. He does this to convince his girlfriend being immoral and sinful while alive is better than being a dead person who was good. What do you think about that?
Another name for this poem could be "To his cold, standoffish girlfriend."
This poem is longer than some others we have read, and some of the language may be confusing. First, read through the poem, and then we will focus on breaking it up into parts and analyzing it.
You may also read the poem in your online textbook on pages 267-268. If you click on the bullhorn icon, you can listen to the poem be read.
To His Coy Mistress
Had we but world enough, and time,
Marvell uses several hyperboles in this poem. Hyperbole is a literary term for an exaggeration or overstatement.
Marvell also uses personification. Personification is when a human trait is given to a non-human thing.Assignment:
In this poem, the speaker is arguing his point to his girlfriend. His argument has three main points. Take a look at each of the following sections, and answer the questions for each section.
Lines 1-20: If we had time enough, we could take our time and court each other forever!
1. What are three examples of hyperboles that Marvell uses to show how long he would spend praising his girlfriend if he had time?
Lines 21-32: But time is short and old age and death come very quickly.
2. How is "time" personified in these lines? (What does Marvell say time is?)
3. What are two creepy, disturbing images that Marvell uses in an attempt to scare his girlfriend into listening to him?
Lines 33-46: So let us make the most of the time we have.
4. What does Marvell say they should do while they have time?
We will be discussing this poem in our chat. Come for help!