What does this metaphor mean from Andrew Marvell's poem "The Garden"?"The mind, that ocean where each kind Does straight it's own resemblance find."

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This poem is often viewed as a celebration of a simple life as opposed to the frenetic lifestyle of one who has chosen to seek public office, responsibility and the cares of the world. In the stanza where this quote is taken from, the speaker talks about the mental pleasures that can be gained and how intellectual fulfillment can be achieved, not through worldly pursuits but through the creative imagination. Thus the mind is compared to an "ocean" where thoughts can seek out and find other similar thoughts to aid in process of becoming intellectually fulfilled. This is what is referred to by the reference to "each kind / Does straight it's own resemblance find." The mind, when free from distractions such as ambition and worldly concerns, is free to be stimulated and can create "Far other worlds and other seas," in stark comparison to the stagnantation experienced by those whose mind is so preoccupied with the search for power, station and prestige that they do not have the time to experience such intellectual fulfillment.

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