The Poetry of Andrew Marvell

Marvell's Style and Metaphysical Wit

Marvell's style is a combination of the traditional neoclassical tradition and metaphysical wit. He often infused familiar forms with conceits, reflections, and analogies that reflect larger questions about life. In this vein, he was described by T.S. Eliot as a "witter" and a "witterish genius."

Metaphysical Wit

Andrew Marvell is an English poet, satirist, and political figure. He was best known for his satires about Charles II, the English royal court, and mismanagement. However, his lyric poetry is what makes him so beloved today. In addition to his political satires, Marvell wrote several lyric poems, including "To His Coy Mistress."

Political Career

The English poet, Andrew Marvell, had a political career that lasted for many years. His lyrical verse, published anonymously, was highly regarded in the 16th century. While he was an MP for Hull, he also wrote satirical poems about the Restoration monarchy. While he was a politician, his political career didn't begin there. He would later turn to writing, publishing poems that had a great influence on British politics.

Influence of John Donne

The Influence of John Donne on Andrew Marvel was clear in 'A Valediction', a poem by Donne that he wrote to his wife before departing for a mission in Europe. Donne used metaphors of alchemical processes and compass points to describe their relationship, likening it to a religious bond. The poem ends with a cry for God to ravish him.


Andrew Marvell is a major figure in the history of English poetry. His work is rich in metaphor and conceit, and incorporates the elements of the Metaphysical school. His poems often address philosophical and spiritual questions, focusing on the nature of time, and debate the nature of human existence and its transitory nature. His poems have been categorized as either "metaphysical" or "religious," which is a reference to the Latin phrase carpe diem, meaning "seize the day."


In The Art of Marvell's Poetry, J.B. Leishman provides a critical appreciation of Andrew Marvell's poems. Leishman describes Marvell as an "inveterate imitator" who experimented with word combinations. He also claimed that Marvell's success depended on the originality of the combination. Though he was inspired by other writers, many of his phrases are clearly identifiable as his own.


The most striking feature of Andrew Marvell's criticism is its focus on the subject. In many cases, the writer identifies the object with the subject. The two are treated as interchangeable, rolled into one unit. The poem is a prime example of this. But what makes Marvell's criticism so effective? Here are some examples. And a few more. All in all, Andrew Marvell's criticism is a worthwhile read.

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