Metaphysical Poetry - the Flea + Sune Rising

Topics: Poetry, John Donne, Metaphysical poets Pages: 5 (1730 words) Published: March 28, 2005
Metaphysical poets use startling juxtapositions in their poetry to create a greater significance in their arguments and intended meanings throughout the poem. John Donne is said to be the unsurpassed metaphysical poet, metaphysical poetry being poetry relating to a group of 17-century English poets whose verse is typified by an intellectually arduous style, admitting extended metaphors and comparing very disparate things. In 17th century England new discoveries were being made and social customs such as men being the dominant over women still applied. Through Donne's poetry we can see that he is goaded and confused by the new discoveries and the social customs avert him from reaching his desires. This is incalculably recognized in his two poems, "The Sunne Rising" and "The Flea" where Donne's arguments challenge some beliefs of the 17th century England. Through "The Sunne Rising" we gain a sense of meaning that Donne is irritated and perplexed with new discoveries and that he believes his love is everything in the whole world. In "The Flea" we can see Donne challenging the social costumes of the 17th century, such as chastity of women, his tremendous persistence to sexually unite with the woman and the overall dominance presented over the woman. In both of these poems Donne uses vividly striking differences in the argument to emphasize the overall meaning of the poem. These dramatic contrasts include conceit, binary opposition, imagery, specific words and the movement of the poem, which are additionally affirmed by poetic devices.

The "Sunne Rising" implies that when a couple unearths perfect love together they become one, shaping a world of their own, which has no need for the outside world. He suggests that even the physical laws of the universe must defer to those persons caught up in the larger universe of infatuation. We also see Donne is going through a struggle of the old and new during the poem. In the "Sunne Rising" Donne uses a number of dramatic contrasts; a contrast of old and new things, beautiful and stunning imagery reflected on his lover, and the movement of the poem to help shape his meaning. In the very first line of the poem, using direct address, Donne states "Busie old foole, unruly Sunne," this first line begins one of the meanings presented in the poem; the struggle between old and new things. This struggle is heavily displayed in the first stanza, "Old..unruly..pedantique..chidde..late schoole boyes," the dramatic contrast between the new and old gives the reader a feeling of struggle and confusing during the first stanza, which was what Donne was feeling through the 17th century. These words help the reader to understand Donne's meaning; that new things have disrupted the old.

Donne reflects his one and only, with the most beautiful imagery in which he can imagine. Like love itself, the woman in Donne's verse is addressed and praised in exaggerated terms. In the "Sunne Rising" her eyes shine brighter than the sun, "if her eyes had not blinded thine". She is compared to the "India's of spice and Myne", she is "all States, and all Princes" and "All wealth alchimie". The "India's spice and Myne" relates to the east and west Indians, in the 17th century , the Indian's kept a source of the world's most valued materials; spices, metals and jewels. All the exaggerated imagery of the woman helps to stress just how exceptional she is. It helps to shape his meaning through the poem, we see this grand, exaggerated imagery and it helps us to envision just how beautiful she is, why she is the focus of the poem.

The movement through each stanza in "the Sunne Rising" also holds a number of dramatic contrasts. Donne wants the reader to see just how exceptional his lover is, and through each stanza he uses dramatic contrasts to help assert his lover in different ways. The first stanza conveys egotism and insolence towards the sun and the pace and rhythm is very hasty. This stanza begins with a series of...
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