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An Critical Analysis Of The Poetic Elements Within The Little Studied "The Sun Rising" By John Donne

2193 words - 9 pages

Analysis of Literary Technique in John Donne's "The Sun Rising"John Donne, author of many works of literature, including "The Sun Rising", is a master manipulator of literary techniques, which he uses to convey a powerful and profound message to the reader. Published in 1633 in Donne's book entitled Poems, "The Sun Rising" is a poem depicting two lovers disturbed from their bed by the rising sun. Donne's poem, "The Sun Rising," is comparable to woven fabric, each literary element tightly woven on the loom of Donne's poetic mind. Donne's expert manipulation of each literary technique, making each literary element work to its fullest potential in conveying his underlying theme, is what defines ...view middle of the document...

Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we, In that the world's contracted thus; Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be To warm the world, that's done in warming us. Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere; This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphereDonne's primary strategy for making "The Sun Rising" a powerful, effective poem is through incorporation of powerful, vivid imagery that draws the reader into the poem, offering a glimpse of Donne's thoughts. Donne's foremost image in "The Sun Rising" is the sun as a nosy "busy old fool who nettles in romantic relationships" (Bloom 16). Donne is clearly upset at the sun for its rude interruption of Donne and his wife, as evidenced by his statement in lines one through three of the poem: "Busy old fool, unruly Sun, why dost thou thus, through windows, and through curtains, call on us?" The image Donne uses, comparing the sun to a nosy old bat, draws the reader to Donne's side in his argument against the sun. This occurs through the reader identifying with Donne in his protests against the sun, as almost no reader can truthfully state that there has never been an instance in which they did not want to get out bed after being awakened prematurely. Bloom endorses this analysis in his summation of Donne's image as "the sun is reduced to a large cosmic alarm clock, calling the poet back to the daylight world of education, business, and politics; its task no more than to "chide late schoole boyes, and sowre prentices" (5-6)" (27). Bloom's reference to lines 5 and 6 of the poem refers to Donne's next descriptor of the sun. The second image Donne utilizes is the sun as an overly formalistic, inordinately precise being who scolds "late school-boys and sour prentices" (6). Donne's choice of diction, in this instance, is responsible for the vividness of the image. A third significant image evident in the poem is Donne's acceptance and welcome of the sun into his bed, "This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere" (30). This image signals Donne's submission to the sun, juxtaposed with his initial anger at the sun in the beginning of the poem. This juxtaposition is clear evidence of movement from one point of view to another, otherwise known as a resolution, and its incorporation into "The Sun Rising" signifies Donne's peace-making with the sun.A second prominent feature of "The Sun Rising" are Donne's underlying themes, evident in the poem. Donne's entire purpose in writing "The Sun Rising" lies in his expression of his love for his wife. Grierson concurs, evidenced by his statement "Donne's interest is his theme, love and woman, and he uses words not for their own sake but to communicate his consciousness of the surprising phenomena in all their varying and conflicting aspects" (29). The second part of Grierson's statement helps the reader to understand Donne's strange choice to convey his theme of love through images of adultery, when Donne's true intent is to depict the love between himself and his wife....

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