Students and scholars of Marvell have celebrated “The Garden” for its provocative imagery and memorable phrasing. The poem disarms in its apparent ease and simplicity. It consists of nine stanzas of eight lines of iambic tetrameter—the same stanzas that appear in “Upon Appleton House” and several other of Marvell’s beloved lyrics—and packs them full of literary and philosophical influences, as well as productive ambiguities that seem designed to trip up the interpreter.
Nigel Smith notes echoes of Hermetic and devotional texts from the 1640s and 50s yet prefers a dating of 1668, after Pritchard (see Smith n. 152; Pritchard). This later date is peculiar, since the pastoral elements and prosody fit easily into …
Prawdzik, Brendan. "The Garden". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 May 2016
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