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Laura: Uncovering Gender and Genre in Wyatt, Donne and Marvell (Post-Contemporary Interventions) Paperback – December 15, 1994
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Second, where is Laura in Marvell? Is there some echo of her in his coy mistress? Would she find a place in the garden of the happily solitary poet? Perhaps there's a gender-bending allusion to her in his ode and other poems to Cromwell, but that's a bit of a stretch. In fact, I don't find in Marvell the delight in and antipathy toward all kinds of women that I find in Donne - make of that what you will.
So, that leaves, thirdly, Wyatt, the most immediate successor in English to the Petrarchan tradition. I'm not certain that the lover(s) in his poems are Lauralike, but his tropes are certainly similar to Petrarch's. Indeed, in Wyatt we find the lover in endless pursuit, frustrated by a beloved at once aloof and cruel. Yes, Wyatt is the poet in Estrin's trio hewing most to line she wishes to trace and tangle.
Believe it or not, there is a point to all this. I find Estrin's book flawed from the beginning because two of the three poets she studies refuse the Petrarchan mold she tries to impose upon 'em.Read more ›