John Donne's Songs and Sonets

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John Donne's Songs and Sonets include love poetry with very different attitudes towards the relationship between men and women. Four such poems, "The Sun Rising", "Song", "The Flea", and "The Undertaking", show very contradictory views of what love is and should be. Each of these poems give a diverse even conflicting view of love because they represent the different kinds of love a person encounters throughout their life; starting with young infatuation love, moving to bitter love, changing to physical love, and ending with content love "The Sun Rising" offers the first relationship level, that of infatuation. In this poem, we see the author chide the sun for rising and starting a new day. The speaker gives the impression of a young man with a first love. He wishes for the day not to start because he wants to stay in this little world, "This bed the center is, these walls thy sphere." But he also wants to stay in this feeling and not have it grow into more complicated matters. In the beginning, he is complaining to the sun, "Busy old fool, unruly sun, / Why dost thou thus / through windows, and through curtains, call on us?" He goes on to tell the sun that it should call on late schoolboys and sour apprentices. This line clues the readers into the author's age. We can guess he is not a young schoolboy but nor is he old enough to have a chosen career path chosen of an apprentice. This leads the readers to see a youthful adult's view of love. In this, he also illustrate his wishes to not only remain in bed but also to remain youthful and not grow older and lose his happy blinders. The author then continues to describe his lover and himself as "She's all states, and all princes I", and their love and happiness as better than even the sun in "Thou, sun, art half as happy as we." In both these lines, the reader sees the narrator describing absurd and impossible concepts. But then again, young love has absurd notions of grandeur. The "Song" represents a...
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