The Four Levels of To His Coy Mistress:
1. Literal Comprehension
This is the first part of the Four Levels of To His Coy Mistress.
Here, the poet is talking to his mistress. If we have enough time in the whole world then the coyness of the Lady would not be any crime. The poet would sit down take her to the long walk by the side by the Indian Ganges where he will find the rubies and give it to her. He would not complain and love her for ten years before the flood. And if she would please she can refuse his love till the conversion of Jesus. The love between them will grow faster than any empire. He will take two hundred years to go and praise her eyes and forehead, take another two hundred to adore her each breast. Then, take thirty thousand to praise every other part. And at the very least he will take her heart.
But he always sees the time passing away so fast. The beauty and the virginity that the lady has been preserving will go away. All of the lust that they have will turn into dust. They won’t be able to share their love in the private chamber of the grave.
So until there is the youthful hue that sits on the lady’s skin like the morning dew that will light their soul on fire. So, they should enjoy their time when they can roll in the sweetness of their love. They should tear the iron gates of life through rough strife. So, even though they cannot make the sun stand still they will make him run.
This poem is all about love. The poet has written this poem asking a lover or as he calls her his coy mistress to have sex with her. Through the poem, the writer is also highlighting the importance of time. Since the lady is shying away, the time is passing by and they are not being able to express their love to each other. When the time passes by even if they want to they won’t be able to express it.
In a similar context, the poem also shows the difference in the nature of boy and girls regarding love and sex. A girl is always shy, trying to protect her virginity whereas, the guy is openly asking the girl to have sex with her. The girl seems afraid of society and people think that the system will reject them but the boy seems to think that the love is greater than the boundaries set by the society so they should be allowed to express it.
3. Critical Thinking
This is a beautiful way of expressing their love to someone but the way words are placed in the poem, it has made me question.
- Is sex everything for love?
- If they don’t have sex with each other would they not be able to express their love for each other?
- The poem was written back in the 17th Century, how could the guy be so free and write about asking his mistress to have sex with him?
The poem might have been written back in the 17th Century but it clearly mirrors the relationships among the Nepalese teenagers. When I was in 11th grade, one of my friends was in love with this guy who was 5 years older than her. In the time range of 6 months, they were deeply in love. The guy was even ready to pick stars and moon from the sky for her but after they had a physical relationship, the guy left her. She was heartbroken but all the words about a great and happy future were just a dream.
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