A Study of “The Canonization”
Poetry is a unique way of expressing one’s feelings. My favorite poems are those that capture an essence of my own feelings. It is nice to be able to relate your feelings to a poem when you can’t really put things into your own words. John Donne’s poem “The Canonization” really speaks to me. Donne uses several poetic techniques to make this poem both memorable and enjoyable.
John Donne was born in London in 1572. In 1601 he secretly married Lady Egerton’s niece, 17-year-old Anne Moore and was thrown into fleet prison. The obvious controversy of this marriage is evident in “The Canonization.”
The poem is the story of two people who are in love. They tell others to not criticize them for their love but for other shortcomings in their lives. They continue by stating that their love has never hurt anyone or anything and tell them to feel however they feel about it because their love will never destroyed. In the end their love will be a legend for future generations to follow.
Though the story is that of Donne’s true feelings, he uses several poetic devices and techniques throughout the poem. The use of rhyme makes the reading of the poem more pleasing. The rhyme scheme in each stanza is ABBACCCDD. Along with rhyme comes assonance. The many repeating vowel sounds are naturally an element of rhyme. Assonance is also found in lines two and three that end in “gout” and “flout.”
Another technique is Donne’s use of alliteration. The repetition of consonant sounds makes the piece sound more appealing. Alliteration can be found in line three where Donne writes “fortune flout.”
Overstatement is also present in this poem. Most of the last paragraph talks about the couple’s strong love. In lines 44-5
“Countries, towns, courts: beg from above
A pattern of our love!”
Though countries, towns and courts may not latterly be begging to have the...