By Andrew Marvell
This brilliantly rhythmic poem is a heavenly journey made possible by the skilful stimulation of your imagination. Indeed, Bermudas is Andrew Marvell's vehicle for enchanting you from your own ordinary situation, to a place of 'eternal spring' and 'golden lamps.' But obviously, not even a poem as good as this can physically take you somewhere; instead the journey of Marvell's Bermudas is metaphysical- a dreamy escape from familiar entanglements to a divine island of utter perfection.
BUT, the escape in this poem is not an escape from monotony or boredom; it is not a mere escape to Marvell's idea of good holiday island. To better understand Bermuda's purpose as an imaginative journey, we need to understand something of its context. We need to know Marvell's inspiration for making his mental leap to the fantastic Bermudas.
Bermudas was written in 1653, amidst an atmosphere of turmoil and violence.
England in the 17th Century was convulsing in religious and political struggle- as Marvell says in line 8 of the lyric 'storms and prelate's rage'. Kings had been deposed and Christianity had splintered. One of the factions of Christianity was the Puritans- bible fundamentalists who believed in the purification of Christianity. The puritans were devoutly religious, and felt caged, suffocating in tumultuous England, where prostitution, crime, alcohol and gambling were, according to the Puritans sullying the streets. Marvell, being a Puritan, dreamed of the 'remote Bermudas,' faraway from an England of 'storms and Prelates' rage' to an isle God made 'far kinder than his own.'
A 1000km from America, right in the 'bosom of the ocean', Bermuda was a newly discovered Puritan colony that had become an exotic escape symbol for Puritans like Marvell. The novel Bermudan isle was in complete isolation and came to be...