”Thought in the Garden” is one of the most famous metaphysical poems, which is also romantic in its subject. It was written by a great Metaphysical Poet ‘Andrew Marvell’. The other title of the poem is ‘The Garden’ and the poem is ‘The Garden’ the poem is romantic because it is about nature. It is the expression of the poet’s personal and emotional feelings about life in nature and society. It is a classical poem in its form because the stanzas, rhythm, rhyme, and word choice are like in classical poetry. The Poet claims that nature is the only true place for complete luxury. The poet begins this poem by comparing nature with society and social life.
About the poet
Andrew Marvel was an English Metaphysical poet, Satirist, and Politician. He was a close friend of “John Milton”. He wrote on a wide range of topics about many social matters. For example, he composed works based on personal and political satires, there is a place for the emotion of love in his writing. He also recounts political events in his poems. Among his world-famous poem included – To His Coy Mistress, The Thought in the Garden, Horatian Ode, and The Definition of Love. Marvell achieved a recognizable position in literary history after his death.
Structure of The Poem
The poem “Thought In the Garden” has divided into nine stanzas each stanza has 8 lines. So the poem has a total of 72 lines. The Rhyme Scheme for each Octave is AABBCCDD.
The setting of The Poem
The poem is set in a Garden which becomes the poet’s place of relaxation and lax, undisturbed by the hassles of society. It may be referred to as the “Garden Of Eden” as there are many bibliographical references throughout the poem.
The Theme Of The Poem
The theme of the Poem is Natural Beauty, Poetic Imagination, and Spirituality. In the poem, Marvell seems to be a priest of Nature.
Explanation Of the Poem
In the first stanza, the speaker criticizes men who Vainly amaze themselves by putting a garland of a few leaves and believing they have achieved victory, prestige, and reward for all their endless labour. But in fact, the true and complete pleasure lies in the complete Garland of Response in Nature. In the second stanza, he personifies the quietness and innocence in nature and speaks to them saying that he has, at last, found them after losing his time in men’s company. Then, he calls the trees “amorous” which means sexually playful or powerful.
Expressing such an odd emotion and attachment to trees, he criticizes his lover for cutting trees to write their beloved’s name. In the fourth stanza, he claims that when men’s love and youth finish, they turn to nature. According to the speaker, even God did this, for example, Apollo and Pan changed their lover into trees. In the fifth stanza, he gives a very sensuous description of his physical pleasure. In the sixth, he argues that his pleasure is moreover mental. In the seventh stanza, he further claims that this pleasure has a spiritual aspect. He romanticizes how he feels, he feels as if his soul is singing and gliding from tree to tree as a bird.
In the 8th or 9th stanza, the speaker compares himself with the lonely Adam in Eden, he also argues that being lonely was a second paradise for Adam, one the paradise which was the Garden of Eden and the second the paradise of being alone. In the 9th stanza, the speaker thanks God for creating a unique world of its own which is the garden. The garden or nature, in general, has its own time, the rush and hurry of society don’t apply here. Even the Sun seems to have its own sweet course. The Garden is therefore the only source of true physical, mental as well as spiritual satisfaction and ‘response’.
As a metaphysical poem, Thought In The Garden uses conceit, wit, far-fetched images and allusions, and a dramatic situation. The balance of emotion and intellect is also another metaphysical feature. The argument about physical pleasure is twisted into the argument about mental pleasure. He argues, according to a medical philosophy, that his mind is an ocean of all the things and images of the real world. The poem is also a dramatic and emotional expression of personal feelings, which is at the same time balanced with witty and intellectual ideas and allusions. This Unified Sensibility also gives the poem another feature of Metaphysical poetry.
Thus now we can say that the main theme of the poem Thought in The Garden is that peaceful life in nature is more satisfying than social life and human company. The poem is about someone who thinks that hanging out in nature is the coolest thing a person can do. So Thought In the Garden is one of the best poems by Andrew Marvell with the features of Metaphysical poems.