Poems like the ones mentioned earlier. Like most poets of the modern generation, female and male, have become a poetic poet by the mere reading of words. Diving into the wreck like the poem says: “Like some poet diving into the wreck to find out what lies beneath, I too dive into my wreck to find out what lies below.” 1973: once again, in that beautiful overstuffed cozy green chair pulled up from the white snowy winter day outside the local health food store, I read that very same famous poem: “Like some poet diving into the wreck to find out what lies below, I also dive into my wreck to find out what lies beneath” A little further on “With the wreck on top, I can rise like the stars, like those stars burned in legend…” A little more on the starry sky and now “Now I have found the pearl within the rindle.” And so on.
The most interesting thing about these famous lines is how they relate to twenty-one love poems by Christopher Marlowe. As with most things, the lines do not tell a story or teach you anything. However, if you look closely at the structure, you can see the circular pattern which has been repeated throughout Marlowe’s many love poems. In this case, the “wreck” is exactly where we find the central crux. It is also where the poem ends.
There is one problem with these poems though. Christopher Marlowe is an English poet, and as such, does not write in the common language of poetry. Instead, he writes in an Englands vernacular. That is to say, he makes use of terms and expressions that are common to the English language. In this way, his poems suffer from the same limitation that afflicts American poetry today – the inability to translate between the poetic language and the language of English.
This brings me to my next point, which is that Christopher Marlowe was a feminist. He is critical of women in general, particularly of what he calls the false friendliness between a woman and her man. Marlowe also takes issue with how society judges women, and how men judge a woman in general through the lens of sexual experience. In short, he is a pansy sort of guy who might be considered to be a cranky old grandpa, yet in American literary circles, he is a beloved figure.
I think that his poetry is still relevant today because it speaks to our need to transcend our gender divisions and build better ties between all people. In other words, I think that Christopher Marlowe’s “Diving Into the Wreck” is a brilliant call to action. How many people wake up one day and say “hey, I’m going to do something now!”? Most of us go about doing nothing, until we are confronted by some catastrophe or other that prompts us to take action. If you read Christopher Marlowe’s “Diving Into the Wreck”, you will note that he did in fact take some positive action to end England’s reign of terror.
After reading this poem, what will you do with this particular piece of writing? Would you like to auction it off on eBay or give it to a professor who needs a tutorial in how to properly critique such works? Or would you rather give this poem to someone who is interested in poetry but has never really had any exposure to great poets? This is a question that many people who haven’t ever read anything by Christopher Marlowe would have difficulty answering. Even if they had read one or two of his poems, they probably wouldn’t understand the importance of this piece.
In saying all this, “The Wreck” is one of my favorite poems from Christopher Marlowe’s collection of verse, for several reasons. First, the poem centers around England’s ongoing obsession with creating new disasters in the form of cultural catastrophes such as the “Nostrum Syndrome.” This poem also happens to be among my favorites, because I think it does a wonderful job of describing the trials and tribulations that can come along with diving into the “wreck” of culture.
In conclusion, American poetry is often very diverse, and Christopher Marlowe is a very talented young feminist writer. He is one of few female poets who wrote great poems who were also strong thinkers, and critics of western culture. His work as a young man exposed him to new ideas, helped him develop new concepts and allowed him to explore areas that were rarely explored in his native England. I highly recommend this collection to anyone who likes the poetry of Christopher Marlowe. It is very accessible and enjoyable.