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Pastoral Worlds in the Mower Poems

            The pastoral mode of literature refers to poems about the rural world that can often be seen in an idealized way. Beginning with Virgil who adapted the pastoral by presenting the lives of the shepherd's in a more idealized way and also used it to indicate contemporary political problems. The pastoral mode is the hallmark of the renaissance style and sonnet. The pastoral is considered to be a mode rather than a genre because it is a way of thinking and it can allow for a range of different opinions based on its varying content. Pastoral literature can be considered in a natural and/or artificial light depending on how it is interpreted. In pastoral literature we are able to see both the natural aspects and the simplicity of life, as well as the definite contrast of the corruption and pollution of the city, which expresses the artificialities seen in pastoral poetry. .
             It was during the period of the English Civil War when poet Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) wrote his collection of the four, "Mower," poems. They are some of the strongest examples of pastoral literature especially as the political Civil War had created a significant impact on them. In these pastoral poems particularly, it is clear that the artificial aspects are more obvious than the natural ones. However, there is still the ability to argue the poem's natural form. The collection consists of four poems including, "The Mower Against Gardens," "Damon the Mower," "The Mower to the Glow-worms," and, "The Mower's song." This is the order that is printed in the posthumous collected editions of Marvell's poems (1681). It is argued that the first poem could have been written later than the others because there is no evidence that Marvell wanted them in this order. Although, it would make sense for it's current order because it provides a chronological complexity for the reader suggesting that these poems are a design to be read as a sequence.

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