Andrew Marvell and Edward Herbert

Robert Ellrodt

in Seven Metaphysical Poets

Published in print May 2000 | ISBN: 9780198117384
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670923 | DOI:
Andrew Marvell and Edward Herbert

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Andrew Marvell's imagination, unlike Henry Vaughan's, is disinclined to rememoration. Like John Donne and George Herbert, he lives his experiences in the present, but in a mobile rather than static instant. Behind him there is no expanse inviting retrospection, only the threatening approach of death chasing him. Marvell's poetry, though mostly written in the present tense, is less dramatic than Donne's. His imagination was attuned to the Heraclitean view of reality. As he never experienced the fullness of being in the instant, he sought to conquer time by controlling its pace. In his apprehension of space as in his perception of time, Marvell often brings the object close to the observer. Edward Herbert's treatise De Veritate reveals no concrete intuition of duration. The perception of time is assigned to distinct ‘faculties’: ‘some are concerned with the present, others with the past, others with the future’. On the perception of space the philosopher is silent, though he is interested in the conditions of visual perception.

Keywords: Andrew Marvell; Edward Herbert; time; space; poetry; imagination; duration

Chapter.  4178 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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