Comparing The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbor and The Flea

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Comparing Wyatt’s The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbor and Donne’s The Flea Every century has its own poetry; poetry has its own personality and aspects, especially love poems. In the sixteenth century, poems about love were more about the court than the lover. In the next century (the seventeenth), the poems of love were more about courting the lover. An author from the sixteenth century, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, is well known for his lyrics pertaining to love. An author from the seventeenth century is John Donne, who is most famous for his love-poetry. When comparing these two authors, the theme of love is very apparently different. Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder’s love poems, such as “The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbor,” “bear an imprint of a strongly individual personality. But the personality is a very different one from John Donne’s. ”1 One of John Donne’s lyrics, “The Flea,” is an exemplary of the seventeenth century’s love poems that have a theme that focuses on the lover. In the sixteenth century, the poems were obviously not written for the lover, but for the court. The poem “The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbor” expresses this point through its imagery of a battle. Not many people would compare their love to a battle, because if they did, it probably would not be a true love. Wyatt’s conceit is a siege (battle), and he concentrates on the theme that the lover suffers in this poem. Wyatt’s poems are not typical love poems; most people would expect desire, true love winning in t... ... middle of paper ... ...found in the sixteenth century. The seventeenth century is more open to the idea of a physical love as well as a spiritual love. The sixteenth century focuses on love in the court rather than the lovers. The theme of love in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is treated the same in some regards and differently in others. On the whole, Donne compares love to what he feels, whereas Wyatt compares love to a battle. Poems about love have drastically changed throughout the centuries. Love poems have evolved, as have people. But as the poem “The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbor” cites, “For good is the life ending faithfully.” It’s all worth it in the end. “It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.”

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