Andrew Marvell (via John Aubery)

Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)

Allen Ginsberg, in 1980, on “Basic Poetics” continues from here

AG: Well, getting on now to more serious matters, Andy Marvell Andrew Marvell – a little history on him – from John Aubery, who was a contemporary, slightly later, who wrote Lives of the Poets  (sic) has a little page about Andrew Marvell –

“He was of middling stature….”    – “He was of a middling stature, pretty strong set, roundish faced, cherry-cheeked, hazel eye, brown hair. He was in his conversation very modest, and of very few words: and though he loved wine he would never drink in company, and was wont to say that, he would not play the good-fellow in any man’s company in whose hands he would not trust his life” ….He had not a general acquaintance.” – (In other words, he didn’t hang around very much with very many people then. In other words, he wouldn’t go out drinking with anybody he didn’t trust his life to – “He had not a general acquaintance”).

“In the time of Oliver the Protector –  (Oliver Cromwell) –  he was Latin secretary. He was a great master of the Latin tongue; an excellent poet in Latin or English: for Latin verses there was no man could come into competition with him… I remember I heard him say that the Earl of Rochester was the only man in England that had the true vein of satire.’..”   [(So this is a contemporary account – John AubreyBrief Lives, it’s called, Brief Lives of the Poets  -[Editorial note – the full title is, actually, Brief Lives, Chiefly of Contemporaries, set down by John Aubrey between the years 1669 and 1696]

“His native town of Hull loved him so well that they elected him for their representative in Parliament, and gave him an honourable pension to maintain him.”

“He kept bottles of wine at his lodging, and many times he would drink liberally by himself to refresh his spirits, and exalt his muse. I remember I have been told..  that the learned. Gorhlanius (in High-German) – (Gorhlanius?)  was wont to keep bottles of good Rhenish wine in his study and, when his spirits wasted, he would drink a good rummer of it…”

“Died – Obiit Londini  – Died London – Aug. 18. 1678; and  buried in St. Giles church in-the-fields about the middle of the south aisle. Some suspect that he was poisoned by the Jesuits, but I cannot be positive.”

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately fifty minutes in and concluding approximately fifty-two minutes in]

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