Andrew Marvell Analysis

Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 04:40 pm
So I have an eng lit assignment about one of Marvell's early poems, but one that is not as popular as to coy his mistress, but was written around the same time; this poem is called Music's Empire. I don't really understand it, I have to write about the imagery used, and the metaphor (either of the whole poem, or specific parts). I have read that the whole poem is a metaphor, and it really isn't baout music. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 05:19 pm
DWW, welcome to A2K. It's always good to show the poem if you want help.

Here it is:
Music's Empire

First was the world as one great cymbal made,
Where jarring winds to infant Nature played.
All music was a solitary sound,
To hollow rocks and murm'ring fountains bound.

Jubal first made the wilder notes agree;
And Jubal tuned music's Jubilee;
He call'd the echoes from their sullen cell,
And built the organ's city where they dwell.

Each sought a consort in that lovely place,
And virgin trebles wed the manly bass.
From whence the progeny of numbers new
Into harmonious colonies withdrew.

Some to the lute, some to the viol went,
And others chose the cornet eloquent,
These practicing the wind, and those the wire,
To sing men's triumphs, or in Heaven's choir.

Then music, the mosaic of the air,
Did of all these a solemn noise prepare;
With which she gain'd the empire of the ear,
Including all between the earth and sphere.

Victorious sounds! yet here your homage do
Unto a gentler conqueror than you;
Who though he flies the music of his praise,
Would with you Heaven's Hallelujahs raise.

The title is the cue. How is music an empire? Look at each line and decide how it creates the imagery, my friend.

Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 08:34 pm
Hi Letty!

Well of course marvell uses instruments, and musical 'things' if you will, to show imagery, but I don't really understand why; normally he uses gardens due to the inspiration of the Appleton house, I've learned, so why music?

Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 04:33 am
DWW, look at his word choice (diction). What do the words say to you specifically? Once you feel and see, you'll be able to decide for yourself why he used the metaphor of music to express an idea. If you have a favorite song, think about the meaning and not just the melody. Then when you put the two together, you will feel and see the impact.

As Wordsworth said about the "daffodils". "..and oft when on my couch I lie in vacant or in pensive mood, they flash upon that INWARD EYE which is the bliss of solitude, and then my heart with rapture fills and dances with the daffodils.."
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