Friday, 12 March 2010

To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

Time for something light hearted me thinks. After last nights post I ended up having a rather intense dream where I was a Seargent in charge of a dimly lit submarine during a war, a field day for Freud I am sure...

One of my all time favourite films is 2046. Tony Leung is one sexy beast and if I ever become as handsome and dashing to women as he is, I could easily imagine myself whispering into a young girls ear with a roguish smile,

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.

However that is perhaps the only vaguely charming line within the poem and no matter how finely I attire myself I will never be the sort of man to woo women in bars.

Our cassanova Marvell carries off the poem in clunky rhyming couplets and what worries me is that this might have actually worked upon his object of affection! Although a big part of that is my ongoing angst against predictable rhyming. Also, though he tries to pass himself off as a noble soul by assuring her he would devote years to the praise of each of her parts, his other phrases he uses are some the least romantic possible!

I mean how can you read the lines,

My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow

and not think of the man's 'marrow'? My GCSE English teacher certainly struggled and so quickly passed over these lines. This is nothing compared to his threat in the second stanza, that should he not be allowed to take her virginity then the maggots will do so when she dies!

Gentlemen (or ladies of that inclination), if any of you find a woman upon which the line, "Can I eat you out before the maggots do?" works I will bow to your courage while wondering what manner of being you have just pulled.

The poem is good fun but really not one I'd recommend for winning a girl's affections...


  1. "The only good woman is one with maggots in her eyes"

    Deadwood quote. SHEEEEIIITT.

  2. I'd had someone come on to me by suggesting that I could get hit by a bus on the way home from the club I was in and that in which case, shouldn't we get it on in the toilets? After all, no one wants to die unfulfilled.

    The expletive filled response the gentleman in question got at the time was coincidentally the same response I made every time my GCSE teacher made us revise this poem.

    I hate that I can still remember lines from it. I'd rather remember good poems.