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A Comparison of Donne’s Poems

By jdgamble98 Sep 24, 2012 431 Words
A comparison of Donne’s poems
John Donne is the name in English literature who gave a new direction to the literary activities of his age. He is in a sense founded the metaphysical lyric, which was practiced by a score of writers. He set up a new tradition in versification. By and large Donne must be regarded as an original poet, a poet who gave much more than what he borrowed from his age. One of Donne’s poems, "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" comes to the same conclusion as seeing the poem as a whole. They see Donne's theme as an appreciation towards a love that holds its strength even through separation. Most also recognize the poem's equal relation to body and soul. Although, most of the criticisms argue that the poem contains the use of sexual ambiguity, the paths diverge on where and how it is used. Similarly, in light of Donne's masterful use of conceit with almost all his works, it can almost universally be accepted that such symbols as the gold leaf and the compass are linked to the lover's unity, but there are several interpretations on Donne's distinct meaning. Actually, these kind of specific divisions seem to be the only type of contrast these critical interpretations of "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" have. John Donne’s poem, “Canonization,” is a poem about love. The speaker is a sardonic, love-struck man addressing someone in opposition to his love. He is angry at first that anyone would attempt to get in the way of his love. He cannot see any reason that anyone could be reasonably opposed to their love. He beseeches the audience to let him live. He does not care what others think of him so long as they let him love. As the poem shifts in tone he compares his love to the alchemical creation of the phoenix, but this phoenix is not brought life and destroyed by fire, rather than by love. He demands that the love he shares shall is an apotheosis and that through it they shall be “canonized.” He finishes his dramatic monologue by telling how future generations will invoke them in the name of love. Through the use of the erotizes, one key metaphor and the antistrophe, Donne creates a complex puzzle of a poem that exemplifies the idea that love dominates all things. In conclusion, both poems, "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" and “Canonization,” center around the ideas of love, literary technique such as metaphors, and setting; all of these attributes share a comparable meaning that will be introduced in this essay.

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