Essay on John Donne's 'A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning'

Essay on John Donne's 'A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning'

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John Donne; A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
John Donne (1572-1631) was one of England's greatest and most creative poets. He worked as secretary for Sir Thomas Edgerton, the Keeper of the Great Seal of England. At that time, Donne fell in love with Anne More (1584-1617) who was the niece of Edgerton's second wife. Edgerton and Ann's father, Sir George More, who was Chancellor of the Garter, strongly disagreed with them getting married. However, Donne married Anne in 1601 when she turned seventeen. This caused Donne to lose his job and he was also placed in jail for a short period of time. The next ten years of John and Anne’s life were very difficult. Things began to take a turn for the better in 1611 when he became friends with Sir Robert Drury. Sir Robert took Donne on a diplomatic mission with him to France and other countries. Donne's separation from his wife at this time inspired him to write one of his most popular works "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning." Anne gave birth to twelve children by Donne. Five of these children died very young or when they were born. Anne Donne died in 1617.
In 1611, John Donne wrote "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" to his wife, Anne More Donne, to comfort her while he was in France conducting government business and she remained home in Mitcham, England, which was about seven miles from London. The title means "When we part, we must not mourn." Valediction is from the Latin verb valedicere, which means to say farewell.
The poem explains that a showing a lot of emotion might weaken their love, and reduce it to be ordinary and routine. According to Donne, their love is inspiring and heavenly. He wants to explain to her that other husbands and their wives, who know only physical...


... middle of paper ...


...ompass, is balanced, symmetrical, and intellectual.
As a whole, John Donne’s, “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” is a love poem and shows an appreciation towards a love that holds its strength even through separation. The poem is a series of metaphors and comparisons which each describe a way of looking at their separation that will help them avoid mourning.
Donne shows us the characteristics that are needed in order to have a strong and enduring relationship. In a long distance relationship, without an emotional and spiritual connection the relationship will dwindle and eventually end. If a relationship, especially a long distance one, has only a physical bond the relationship will not last; while the cat is away the mouse will play. “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” is one of Donne’s most famous and simplest poems and shows his definition of spiritual love.

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