And here face down beneath the sun
And here upon earth’s noonward height
To feel the always coming on
The always rising of the night

To feel creep up the curving east
The earthy chill of dusk and slow
Upon those under lands the vast
And ever climbing shadow grow

And strange at Ecbatan the trees
Take leaf by leaf the evening strange
The flooding dark about their knees
The mountains over Persia change

And now at Kermanshah the gate
Dark empty and the withered grass
And through the twilight now the late
Few travelers in the westward pass

And Baghdad darken and the bridge
Across the silent river gone
And through Arabia the edge
Of evening widen and steal on

And deepen on Palmyra’s street
The wheel rut in the ruined stone
And Lebanon fade out and Crete
High through the clouds and overblown

And over Sicily the air
Still flashing with the landward gulls
And loom and slowly disappear
The sails above the shadowy hulls

And Spain go under the the shore
Of Africa the gilded sand
And evening vanish and no more
The low pale light across that land

Nor now the long light on the sea

And here face downward in the sun
To feel how swift how secretly
The shadow of the night comes on…

Analysis, meaning and summary of Archibald MacLeish's poem You, Andrew Marvell

5 Comments

  1. G. Zetzel says:

    To understand the poem, you need first to read Marvell’s poem, “To His Coy Mistress”, written in the 17th C.–a great poem about love and the passage of Time.

  2. issibella Peyton says:

    please give me your comments about what this is about i have to wriite a comparrison to the passionate shephard to his love thanks

  3. monika says:

    THIS POEM IS ABOUT TH U.S MORE THAN ANY OTHER THING.ITS POWER ALL ABOUT THE WORLD ESPCIALLY IN THE MIDDLE EAST . THERE IS ALSO CARPIDIEM (OR SORT OF!)AND MANY IMAGES AND BEAUTIFUL DESCRIPTION OF I.R.IRAN AND SO.

  4. ebrahim mousavi says:

    I’m studying english literature in university of Qom. last week we had ‘English poetrry’but we did not know a heck about literary devices which were used in ‘koblai khan’ and the profffessouy scorched us severely. I read this poem three times and I really apreciated it because half of the places that the poet mentions are in iran, my country.cities like Isfahan and Kirmanshah.

  5. Richard Searles says:

    First, please note that the creator of this poem is _Not_ Ella Wheeler Wilcox, but rather is _Archibald MacLeish_. I suspect this is a type, since the poem is apparently indexed correctly. But the notation on this page as to author should be corrected.

    Second, this poem is fascinating for it’s geographical accuracy, as the earth spins on its axis night falls east to west. But one does not literally feel “how soft, how silently” the night is approaching – this is a spiritual or metaphysical interpretation. I have always read it as night as metaphor for the decline or death of civilization. MacLeish may have had either of the two 20th Century “World Wars” in mind.

    Incidently, I looked up Wilcox on another website. Some of her poems are well worth looking at.

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