Gregory Stephenson: On "Marriage"

The superbly humorous "Marriage" satirizes the rituals and conventions of courtship, sexuality and marriage, contrasting the individualistic, imaginative, poetic spirit of the poem's narrator with the norms and expectations of society. The poem also pokes fun at the bizarre impulses of the narrator and at his inability to cope with the practical matters or the responsibilities of a job and children. The poem points out that what is all too frequently obscured or lost among all the social usages, customs and practices connected with marriage is its very reason and motive: love. The mystery, the miracle of love must not be reduced to mediocrity, must not become domesticated or trivialized. The poem concludes with a celebration of pure, passionate love as exemplified by Ayesha, the beautiful, terrible sorceress of H. Rider Haggard's She, reminding us that true marriage can only be founded upon the recognition of love as a primal force, subversive, illimitable, partaking of the character of the divine. True marriage is not a social contract but a covenant of flesh and spirit both within and between lovers. (36)

Details

Criticism Overview
Title Gregory Stephenson: On "Marriage" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Gregory Stephenson Criticism Target Gregory Corso
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 08 Jul 2015
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Exiled Angel: A Study of the Work of Gregory Corso
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