Sunday, 10 May 2009

Green Shade

It won't take long to get bored with it, I'm sure, but for now I can't get over all this green, suddenly everywhere. Walking down by the River Test this afternoon, the green-ness was almost overwhelming. In Andrew Marvell's famous words:
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade
That always reminds me of a question that came up in my English degree finals exams, which I couldn't answer (a shame, as Marvell was one of the few things I had thoroughly prepared). It went something like:
"Stumbling on melons as I pass,
Insnared with flowers, I fall on grass.

Discuss the implications of this for the poetry of the 17th century"

Apart from the thought that Marvell was rather clumsy, possibly drunk, stumbling around in someone's vegetable patch, and the insistence of the implied rhyme with "arse," (Marvell as limerick writer?) I couldn't think of a thing to say, and still can't. The idea that such behaviour might be generalisable to the entire 17th century -- a Python-esque vision of many poets wandering distractedly through an allotment and tripping over marrows -- simply gave me the giggles. What can they have meant? Answer in less than 200 words, on one side of the paper only, please.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Answer to Marvell question:
"Women for duty, boys for pleasure, melons for sheer delight"