Andrew Marvell: The Mower to the Glow-worms (905 words)

Brendan Prawdzik (Penn State University)
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This briefest of the Mower Poems distills their sense of internal dislocation and homelessness within the pastoral landscape: “For she my mind hath so displaced/ That I can never find my home.” If the Mower Poems form a three-poem narrative, “The Mower to the Glow-worms” is literally and figuratively at its center.

The poem is neatly ordered into four stanzas of four lines that, in their respective place in each stanza, follow the same general syntactical structure. Remarkably, these stanzas join together to form a single sentence, with the glow-worms addressed three ways before they are told, with a note of finality, that their service no longer has use, since the mower is forlorn. It is a delightful lyric, but, like so …

Citation: Prawdzik, Brendan. "The Mower to the Glow-worms". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2015 [, accessed 19 June 2021.]

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