'To wound an oak': the Poetics of Tree-felling at Nun Appleton

Major, Philip
April 2010
Seventeenth Century;Spring2010, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p143
Poetry Review
Andrew Marvell's poem 'Upon Appleton House, To My Lord Fairfax' has justifiably received much critical attention in recent decades, not least for its proto-environmental concerns. However, another contemporary poem concerned not only with the same Yorkshire retreat but also, intriguingly, the same theme of oak-felling, has passed almost entirely unnoticed by scholars: 'The Vocal Oak' (1679), by Fairfax's cousin, Brian Fairfax. This article argues that in addition to its treating tree-felling as an intrinsically significant, deleterious ecological event, Fairfax's poem illustrates the usefully rich metaphorical and symbolic uses to which such occasions could be put, with particular regard to constructing the posthumous reputation of his illustrious cousin.


Related Articles

  • "On each pleasant footstep stay" A Walk about "Appleton House". Post, Jonathan F. S. // Ben Jonson Journal;2004, Vol. 11, p163 

    The article offers poetry criticism of the poem "Upon Appleton House, to My Lord Fairfax," by Andrew Marvell. It discusses the poem as a meditation and compares the depiction of Appleton House to aspects of the real building's architecture, including its use of square and circular shapes. The...

  • THE MISPRINT 'NOT COMPARE' FOR 'NOUGHT COMPARE' IN LINE 303 OF MARVELL'S 'UPON APPLETON HOUSE' Miller, Clarence H. // English Language Notes;Mar1988, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p26 

    The article comments on the textual content of the poem "Upon Appleton House, to my Lord Fairfax," by Andrew Marvell. The author explores the misprint of the word "not" for "nought," examines the use of the word "compare" within the poem, and argues that Marvell is attempting to compare the...

  • Blurring the Boundaries: "Ut pictura poesis" and Marvell's Liminal Mower. Faust, Joan // Studies in Philology;Fall2007, Vol. 104 Issue 4, p526 

    The author focuses on the poetry of Andrew Marvell and its relationship to the visual arts. According to the author, Marvell's poetry obscures the boundaries and definitions of the "pastoral," thus creating liminal space and a complex brand of poetry linked to trends in the visual arts. The...

  • Maria Fairfax and the "Easy Philosopher" Action and Indolence in Andrew Marvell's "Upon Appleton House". Nelson, Byron // Quidditas;2008, Vol. 29, p108 

    Andrew Marvell dramatizes the difficult choice between action and indolence in his long pastoral poem, "Upon Appleton House." The nameless nun's rhetorical temptation of Isabel Thwaites, as narrated in an apparent digression from the past history of the house, anticipates the poet's own...

  • 'The Garden' and Marvell's Literal Figures. Gavin, Dominic // Cambridge Quarterly;2008, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p224 

    This article considers various ways in which Marvel's literalism operates in pastoral verse, in particular relation to 'The Garden'. Focusing on the role of the poet as a reader of nature, the author discusses Marvell's engagement with traditions surrounding the 'book of nature', and the...

  • Virgil at Appleton House. Guy-Bray, Stephen // English Language Notes;Sep2004, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p26 

    Presents literary criticism which examines the Virgilian genres in the poem "Upon Appleton House" by Andrew Marvell. Discussion of the use of the name Thestylis; Epic elements of the poem; Resemblance between Marvell's Mary and Virgil's Venus in "Aenid."

  • "Bermudas." Marvell, Andrew; Daigle-Williamson, Marsha // Bermudas;2011, p1 

    "Bermudas" is a short poem of eight-syllable (octosyllabic) lines arranged in iambic tetrameter couplets. The poem begins with a four-line exordium, or introduction, by a narrator. The next thirty-two lines consist of a song of thanksgiving being sung by people in a boat as they row. The poem...

  • An Echo Beyond the Mexique Bay: Andrew Marvell, Thomas Gage, and the Lord Fairfax. Brand, Clinton Allen // Discoveries;Fall2000, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p3 

    The article focuses on the works of English poet Andrew Marvell. It highlights Marvell's poem "Upon Appleton House, to my Lord Fairfax" in which the author illustrates his signature concision and trademark virtuosity. It also mentions several criticism of the poem puzzling stanza that attracted...

  • The Review of English Studies Prize Essay*Marvell and the Strategic Imagination: Fortification in Upon Appleton House. Werlin, Julianne // Review of English Studies;Jun2012, Vol. 63 Issue 260, p370 

    While recent scholarship has done much to illuminate the political and topical thrust of Andrew Marvell’s Upon Appleton House, his use of the language of military theory, reaching its apex in his playful description of Nun Appleton's fortress-shaped garden, has received less attention....


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics