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A Valediction Forbidding Mourning Essay

1157 words - 5 pages

John Donne, a seventeenth-century English poet, was born in London in 1572 and known for his ingenuous style of writing (Bloom 10). According to Christopher Moore, an English writer, Donne’ poetry is colloquial in diction and has the flexibility and liveliness of spoken language which imparts an energy and force perfectly capturing his mercurial jumps in thought and description; his poetry is filled with unusual images and metaphor for the fact most of it deals with love and relations between the sexes (Moore 12). Besides “The Flea,” “The Good Morrow,” and others, “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” is another famous masterpiece for which John Donne is recognized. Izaak Walton, a ...view middle of the document...

In the second stanza, “So let us melt, and make no noise, / No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ; / 'Twere profanation of our joys / To tell the laity our love” (5-8), Donne urges his wife to stay calm and separate without noise, crying, or sorrow, just like virtuous men who die quietly with no fear while their friends argue over whether the man has died or not; he also uses spiritual language such as profane and laity to convince his wife that mourning about their separation would profane their love and joys, and they as spiritual leader should teach the laity when it comes to spiritual love. To conclude, Donne, in the first two stanzas, creates a metaphor through which he compares the image of virtuous men’s death to his separation from his wife in order to comfort and tell her their love is so strong to be affected by their physical separation.
In addition to the image of virtuous men’s death, Donne uses earthquake, sphere, and gold as symbols to describe his spiritual and unique love for his wife. Donne, in the third stanza, likens the spiritual love between him and his wife to the “trepidation of the spheres,” which is natural and harmless as opposed to “[the] Moving of th' earth,” which hurts and frightens people making them wonder at its causes. Moreover, he, in the fourth and fifth stanza, contrasts “Dull sublunary lovers' love,” whose love is earthy, physical, and sensual, and can easily be threatened by physical separation to the spiritual love between him and his wife, which is “a love so much refined” and can stand physical absence, “ Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.” Donne, in the sixth stanza, also states that even though he must go on his journey, “our two souls . . . are one,” and expands his voice by creating another simile through which he compared his love to beaten gold. The fact that their souls are one, Donne believes their separation would not be “A breach, but an expansion, / Like gold to airy thinness beat” (23-24). He uses beaten gold, which is a perfect match and symbol for love, to tell his wife that the hammer, by which gold is beaten, is their separation, and for their souls are one, their separation is not going to breach their love but expand and...

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