Even though they were centuries apart, both Aristotle and John Donne share the same opinion that “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” Donne captures this beautiful idea of a spiritual love in a poem called Valediction: Forbidding Mourning, written for his wife before he left on a trip in 1611. In only nine stanzas, John Donne presents the ideals for true love; the forbidding mourning due to their physical separation through metaphors such as the “trepidation of the Spheres”, “expansion of gold thread”, and the “union of a compass”; and it will come to prove that True love is a spiritual love that will transcend any physical love.
The poem opens up with using a comparison, that “As virtuous men pass mildly away...So let us melt, and make no noise”(1/5). Here John Donne is telling his beloved that there should be no mourning due to their separation, for this time apart will only ensure the relationship’s continuity. The virtuous man took more heed to his soul during his life, just like the poet and his beloved have a stronger spiritual love. In a time of death, which is the temporary separation of the body and soul, the virtuous man will not mourn for he is already detached from the passions and desires of the body. Just as the foundation of the couple 's love is not based on sensual and physical love of the bodies. They will have “no tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move”(6), due to their temporary separation, for though their bodies are separated their souls are united by spiritual love.
Donne presumes that it “Twere profanation of our joys/ to tell the laity our love”(7-8). Profanation means to degrade something that is worthy of respect. It would be impossible to put their love in words for oth...
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When two people are striving for the same final goal, “love then is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies,” as Aristotle so famously states. When they succeed in reaching their goal of eternal happiness, they will prove that they possess the rare gift of a true love. John Donne immortalized his love in only nine stanzas, but one could write pages and pages on the meaning behind these words and the fruits that spring forth. But the more words and the more precise one becomes when explaining the ideals of true love, the farther the reader is from experiencing the truth. This is why John Donne resorted to using metaphors and beautiful examples such as the “peaceful trepidation of the Spheres”, “expansion of gold thread”, and the “union of a compass, ” so that the readers maybe be able to better comprehend the love that John Donne and his wife experienced.
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