the relic

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  • The Relic
    • Catholic associations - could you talk about the controversy surrounding relics?
      • love poem but relic is a clearly religious
    • stanza 1
      • And he that digs it spies/ A bracelet of bright hair about the bone, Will he no let us alone,/And think that there a loving couple lies
        • new image as love is introduced - narrative progression.
        • hair doesn't decay - lives on (gross)
          • love equally lives on...
        • talking as if intruding on live couple
      • Who thought that this device might be some way/ To make their souls, at the last busy day,/ Meet at this grave, and make a little stay?
        • On judgement day, the body must be complete tf. woman must find him for hair
        • underplayed seriousness
          • can be seen equally as a comic metaphor for everlasting love as a serious religious idea of love lasting through eternity.
        • way day stay
      • When my grave is broken up again/ Some second guest entertain/ (For graves have learned that woman-head,/ To be to more than one a bed)
        • sense of certainty
        • party joke language
        • sexualised dead bodies
          • company of corpses.
            • possible pun on 'maidenhead'
        • possible pun on 'maidenhead'
      • whole stanza is one sentence
    • Stanza 2
      • Thou shalt be Mary Magdalen, and I/ A something else thereby/ All women shall adore us, and some men;
        • arguably written to Mrs Magdalen Herbert
        • certainty of complete worship of the image of their love
          • Philip Larkin - an Arundel Tomb
          • women = criticised more then men! too stupid and emotional
      • If this fall in a time or land/ Where mis-devotion doth command,/ Then he that digs us up will bring/ Us to the bishop and the king
        • criticising Catholicism
        • also suggests a continuous religious instability
        • hierarchy
      • And since at such time miracles are sought,/ I would have that age by this paper taught/ What miracles we harmless lovers wrought.
        • they are looking for miracles but haven't found them yet. magic associated with relics
        • the poem will also be worshipped
    • Stanza 3
      • Coming and going, we/ Perchance might kiss, but not between those meals;/ Our hands ne'er touched the seals/ Which nature, injured by late law, sets free.
        • their bodies are kept pure
          • seals = tokens/symbols of a covenant, seals their lips to a vow of silence + colloquium tfor genitalia
        • seals = tokens/symbols of a covenant, seals their lips to a vow of silence + colloquium tfor genitalia
        • kisses nourished the souls
      • First, we loved well and faithfully,/ Yet knew not what we loved, nor why;/ Difference of sex no more we knew/ Than our guardian Angels do;
        • their love transcended human understanding
        • again progression
        • couldn't even distinguish between gender -
          • likens them to angels they are holy
      • These miracles we did, but now, alas,/ All measure, and all language, I should pass,/ Should I tell you what a miracle she was.
        • he can't even explain how great and wonderful she was.
    • critics
    • also written to Mrs Magdalen Herbert - makes clear relationship was platonic


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