The Song Essay

The Song Essay

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The Song

Many of John Donne's poems are on the subject of love and equally as
many on the subject of sex. As a love poet, especially when Donne
writes vividly on his wife he is very much concerned with his subject
(his wife) however he can appear selfish and cold in the more sexual
referenced poems. To fully make my point I have studied two poems,
which I believe show his character as less self-absorbed as in the
sexual referenced poems.

This poem is written for his wife and is essentially saying goodbye as
he is leaving her 'physically' but arguing that she mustn't be sad of
his departure and instead arguing that they are not really parting and
each verse is a different 'image' or argument for this.

I feel that this poem shows distinctly the love that John Donne had
for his wife. This poem, as well as having a very good use of words
and imagery shows to me true feelings of love for his wife. The lines
such as

But since that I
Must die at last, 'tis best
to use myself in jest
Thus by feign'd deaths to die

May be misinterpreted as selfish and self-obsessed comments. In
comforting his wife, who appears to be upset that he is leaving, and
concerned that he is going 'in weariness for thee', he says that as he
will die eventually anyway, it is good practice ('jest') being apart
for when they will be separated by death. Although it may appear that
he thinks that his wife loves him so much that she needs practice for
when he dies, in other words he is fond of himself and that his wife
loves him so much, he simply accepts that she loves him and is making
this point purely to reassure her and make amends for his reluctant
absence from her life.

Yesternight the sun went hence,
And yet is here today...


... middle of paper ...


....
This poem, he is trying to stop her from leaving by talking to her and
asking her. However, they both tell of their relationship and of their
love.

In answer to my beginning statement that I do not think that John
Donne is more concerned with writing about himself than with adoring
his mistress, I still believe that. In his sexual poems such as The
Apparition, The Flea and Going to bed he seems only concerned with sex
and himself and I would agree in those contexts he seems selfish and
uninterested in anything else the mistresses have to offer. However,
when he is a love poet and he is writing about and to his wife, he
still writes with the same wit and cleverness but the writing flows
and sounds so beautiful. He is very much concerned with his wife more
than himself as every image of her leaves us with an angelic image of
her and his love for her.

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