Significance of Form and Meaning: Symbolism of A Valediction of Weeping

“A Valediction of Weeping” embodies John Donne’s ability to unite form and content in the beauty and intricacy of his metaphysical conceits. By closely interpreting these conceits, or complex extended metaphors, the reader is able to appreciate and understand many underlying themes of sorrow and consolation within the lovers’ parting. The word “valediction” means to … Read more

No Man Is an Island: a Man and a Mankind Bonded

In his perhaps most famous poem, “No Man Is An Island,” John Donne explores the theme of interconnectedness to show the invisible ties between people and their effect on us. In this short poem, the writer adopts a range of literary devices to enhance this masterpiece’s beauty and express the message mentioned above. An extended … Read more

Donne and Edson: a Comparison

Existential quandaries remain ingrained within the human condition, where superficial evasions by intellectualizing such concerns are eventually addressed by universal values of humility and compassion within contextual constructs. When confronted by death, the notion of wit postures as a mechanism to disguise insecurities, with mortal suffering allowing the edification to renounce pride and form genuine … Read more

The Flea: an Implicit Erotic Metaphor

MARK but this flea, and mark in this, How little that which thou deniest me is; It suck’d me first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea our two bloods mingled be. Thou know’st that this cannot be said A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead; Yet this enjoys before it woo, And … Read more

Similar Ideas In To His Coy Mistress and a Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

Though “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell and “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” by John Donne are metaphysical poems emphasizing love, the narrators use very different approaches and have opposing perspectives on what love truly is. In “To His Coy Mistress” the author is speaking of a mistress that he is trying to coax into … Read more

The Nature of Love in Donne’s Poetry

“Love’s Deity” is an anti-lyric poem; rather than lament love’s inconstancy or celebrate love’s union, Donne questions the nature of love itself. Donne presents the poem as a theogony, an account of the origin of the god of love. For Donne, Love is a pagan god, operating in a beautifully imagined pre-lapsarian world in which … Read more

Biblical Symbolism in Batter My Heart

Irresolution of Paradox in Donne’s “Batter My Heart” John Donne’s “Holy Sonnet XIV” is filled with Biblical imagery and language suggestive of Psalmic platitude. Batter my heart, three person’d God; for, you As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend; That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow mee,’and bend Your force, to breake, … Read more

Concepts of Faith and Love in Donne’s Works

The metaphysical poets of the Renaissance sought to explore universal concepts of religion and and love against the backdrop of great social and religious change. The movement’s foremost contributor was arguably John Donne, whose poetry was innovative for its elaborate use of conceit in the representation and discussion of these enduring themes. Born Catholic into … Read more

World’s Duality in The Sun Rising

Separation of Two Worlds Within John Donne’s “The Sun Rising” Published in 1633, John Donne’s poem “The Sun Rising” represents an era of metaphysical literary strategies. In order to capture the engrossing love of the poem’s two characters, Donne craftily uses personification, symbolism, hyperboles, and assorted metaphors to characterize the lovers. All in all, the … Read more

Form and Structure of Donne’s Metaphysical Poetry

               In Donne’s metaphysical love poem, ‘A Valediction: Of Weeping’, the central notion is that of spheres and cycles. This corroborates with Parfitt’s assertion that ‘in Donne’s lyric world stasis is rare’[1], which is expressed in ‘A Valediction’ through a constant sequence of creation and destruction, and a corresponding tension between reality and representation. The … Read more

Biblical Symbolism in Batter My Heart

Irresolution of Paradox in Donne’s “Batter My Heart” John Donne’s “Holy Sonnet XIV” is filled with Biblical imagery and language suggestive of Psalmic platitude. Batter my heart, three person’d God; for, you As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend; That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow mee,’and bend Your force, to breake, … Read more

World’s Duality in The Sun Rising

Separation of Two Worlds Within John Donne’s “The Sun Rising” Published in 1633, John Donne’s poem “The Sun Rising” represents an era of metaphysical literary strategies. In order to capture the engrossing love of the poem’s two characters, Donne craftily uses personification, symbolism, hyperboles, and assorted metaphors to characterize the lovers. All in all, the … Read more

The Flea and A Gender Question

In the majority of John Donne’s poetry, it is easy to characterize Donne as a domineering speaker, one who frequently overbears the female voice. Yet in “The Flea,” Donne complicates the prototypical gender roles seen in most early modern love poetry. Throughout the poem, the poet uses symbolism and unspoken dialogue to imply a complicated … Read more

The Nature of Love in Donne’s Poetry

“Love’s Deity” is an anti-lyric poem; rather than lament love’s inconstancy or celebrate love’s union, Donne questions the nature of love itself. Donne presents the poem as a theogony, an account of the origin of the god of love. For Donne, Love is a pagan god, operating in a beautifully imagined pre-lapsarian world in which … Read more