Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Modern Poet's Response to "To His Coy Mistress"

To You, Andrew Marvell

   Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982)

And here face down beneath the sun   
And here upon earth’s noonward height   
To feel the always coming on
The always rising of the night:

To feel creep up the curving east   
The earthy chill of dusk and slow   
Upon those under lands the vast   
And ever climbing shadow grow

And strange at Ecbatan the trees   
Take leaf by leaf the evening strange   
The flooding dark about their knees   
The mountains over Persia change

And now at Kermanshah the gate   
Dark empty and the withered grass   
And through the twilight now the late   
Few travelers in the westward pass

And Baghdad darken and the bridge   
Across the silent river gone
And through Arabia the edge
Of evening widen and steal on

And deepen on Palmyra’s street
The wheel rut in the ruined stone   
And Lebanon fade out and Crete
High through the clouds and overblown

And over Sicily the air
Still flashing with the landward gulls   
And loom and slowly disappear   
The sails above the shadowy hulls

And Spain go under and the shore   
Of Africa the gilded sand
And evening vanish and no more   
The low pale light across that land

Nor now the long light on the sea:

And here face downward in the sun   
To feel how swift how secretly
The shadow of the night comes on ...   


  1. I love how the author basically just went around the world in this poem,but I don't understand how this is a response to Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress. Can you explain?

  2. I know exactly what u mean by "the author went around the world" in this poem Farid. However, i got kind of distracted just thinking about the different places rather than thinking about the poem itself. And I also don't understand how this is a response to, "To His Coy Mistress".

  3. The author included a lot of imagery in this poem. He describes the surroundings and talks about different places. And like Yenifer, I don't understand it's resemblance in "To his coy Mistress".

  4. I agree with Ivy, Farid, and Yenifer... the gist of this poem was very amazing, and it got me thinking of my life.

    Yenifer, Ivy, and Farid.. i think this poem resembles the idea (similar to "To His Coy Mistress") Of time.. and never ending love. In this poem, the author traveled to many diffrent places for a long period of time.. but always found the beauty of each place. Throughout his travels his own love and passion for sight seeing never died out. Similar to "To His Coy Mistress" because this poem proves that throught time things stay beautiful (and indue time becomes more beautiful), and can never be forgotten about. I believe this is true because (like places within history), humans can never forget some places that shows beauty. Humans as well as animals too! Well i hoped i helped you girls (and guy.. farid) out! If anything take notes in each margin! Haha I sound like Mr.Bagley! NIGHT :D (time for some ap bio hw)

  5. I get what Raymond's trying to say. Love can be expressed in different ways. This person in particular loves to go to different places in the world and discovery things that excite him. Like Andrew Marvell he's passionate about what he loves. So I think that's why it's written to Andrew Marvell, because both of these poets are passionate about the love they have for things they see and want.

  6. It honestly really is hard to see how this is a response to Andrew Marvell. On the surface, it's a beautiful poem, and i love how worldly the author seems. The imagery is amazing, you feel like you're breezing through continents!
    But they are similar because both authors talk about beauty. And I agree with Raymond about the whole concept of time and love, it adds a bit of mystique to the poem.

  7. I get what everyone is saying but I don't see how it's a response to Andrew Marvell's poem. But on the other side, the poem had great imagery, like my classmate, Farid, had noticed, I like how he talked about differenet parts of the world. And the imagery that he is using is really great as he went through with each of the places of the world. However, although it was a great poem to read, I didn't see how it's a response to Andrew Marvell's poem.