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Metaphysical Poetry The Flea + Sune Rising

1744 words - 7 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

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 questions. These questions are very threatening and intrusive, and add to the scornful tone. Donne also uses imagery to divide all livings things into two groups in this stanza; lovers and non lovers, emphasizing that he and his lovers are extraordinary. The imagery of lovers and non-lovers, intimidating questions and extreme insults towards the sun, and fast rhythm all accentuate Donne’s anger against the sun; how he is disturbing him and his lover. This stanza is then cleverly concluded with the rhyming couplet, “no seasons knows,” Donne has gone from a rage directed at the sun to completely focusing on his lover, and this couplet is also stressed by the masculine rhyming, which is very authoritative and compelling. When the poem moves to the second stanza, more dramatic contrasts begin to unfold. Here there is a change of attitude; the persona is now grandiose and abusive. This change in tone enunciates even more hatred towards...

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