John Donne: the Sun Also Rises

Topics: Universe, Earth, Love Pages: 4 (1175 words) Published: October 7, 2006
Donne seems to consciously ignore conventional measures of rhyme and meter and poetic beauty. His language is direct and like a conversation instead of a typical verse, in which his verse is full of dissonance.

Critics of John Donne's "The Sun Rising" often note that the poem's displacement of the outside world in favor of two lovers' inner world serves to support its overall theme, which is the centrality of human love through a permanent physical universe (Otto). However, critics have stated that this poem must not be taken literally. Rather, Donne's placement of the outside world, in favor of the lovers' inside "microcosm," is a rhetorical technique used to argue for the strength and energy of mutual love (Otto). Donne is still unsuccessful at convincing readers that internal love can symbolically replace the physical world if logic is inferior to language. This persona establishes several oppositions that favor a certain hierarchy within the structures he creates. As the poem progresses, however, he begins to misspeak, forgetting the earlier language used. "The poem dismantles itself through the inherent contradictions of the persona's rhetoric, leaving the reader unconvinced that language permits love to transcend the outside world" (Otto).

In the first stanza of "The Sun Rising," Donne's speaker creates several oppositions that show the poem's argument that love exists independently from and superior to the physical world. The oppositions presented are confinement versus openness and eternity versus a momentary instance. In relation to confinement versus openness, the speaker objects to the sun's intrusion "Through windows" and "through curtains" (3). Windows and curtains separate him and his lover from the outside world, from the knowledge that their love exists within an ordinary, physical reality. If the "Busy [and] unruly" sun permeates through the window, these methods of exclusion it will challenge his desired confinement, disables his love as...

Cited: Otto, Eric. "Rhetoric 's Inherent Contradictions: John Donne 's ‘The Sun 's Rising. '" Fort Meyers, Fl. 2000.
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