Is Andrew Marvell's poem  "To His Coy Mistress" a cape diem poem?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Andrew Marvell's poem, "To His Coy Mistress," is a great example of a carpe diem poem.  In this poem, the speaker entreats his mistress to seize the moment and be his lover "while the youthful hue sits on her skin like morning dew." Marvell portrays time is an enemy that diminishes beauty, making the argument that he and his mistress should be lovers in the present. 

The famous opening line, "Had we but world enough and time" suggests that if time were not an issue, then the speaker and his would-be lover could waste time doing whatever kinds of things they wished, but "time's winged chariot" is "hurrying near." Marvell's poem stresses that the lovers must live in the moment. 


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