Time in the Context of Marriage
Time assumes distinctive contours from inside a marriage: this chapter looks at single poems that disclose them one by one, and at poetic sequences that render them co-active. “The Whitsun Weddings,” Philip Larkin’s belated epithalamium, is played off against its Renaissance prototype, Edmund Spenser’s “Epithalamion,” to establish the continuing relevance of the pre-modern concept of “aeviternity” to modern marriage sequences. In Eavan Boland’s and Rachel Zucker’s sequences, aeviternity and dailiness are in tension with each other.
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