John Donne, "A Valediction..."


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John Donne, "A Valediction..."

  1. 1.  1572-1631 Contradictory  Wild, young = clever love poems  Serious, older = meditations and sermons Religious conflict  Raised Catholic  Abandoned Catholicism for Church of England  True conversion or advancing in society? Secret marriage  Anne More: employer’s niece  1601  Love or promoting career?
  2. 2.  Intellectual, concerned with philosophy, law, science, etc. Poetic devices = conceits and paradoxes Conceits: extended metaphors that link objects or ideas not commonly associated  Ex.: “All the worlds a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances” -Shakespeare, As You Like It Paradoxes: images or descriptions that appear self-contradictory but reveal a deeper truth  Ex.: “Death, thou shalt die.” -Donne, “Holy Sonnet 10”
  3. 3. Written by John Donne p. 438-439
  4. 4. 2 Paradoxes1 Conceit2-3 Sentence Summary per Slide (3 slides total)
  5. 5. As virtuous men pass mildly away,And whisper to their souls to go,Whilst some of their sad friends do say,The breath goes now, and some say, No;So let us melt, and make no noise,No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;Twere profanation of our joysTo tell the laity our love.Moving of the earth brings harms and fears,Men reckon what it did and meant;But trepidation of the spheres,Though greater far, is innocent.
  6. 6. Dull sublunary lovers love(Whose soul is sense) cannot admitAbsence, because it doth removeThose things which elemented it.But we, by a love so much refinedThat our selves know not what it is,Inter-assured of the mind,Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.Our two souls therefore, which are one,Though I must go, endure not yetA breach, but an expansion.Like gold to airy thinness beat.
  7. 7. If they be two, they are two soAs stiff twin compasses are two:Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no showTo move, but doth, if the other do;And though it in the center sit,Yet when the other far doth roam,It leans, and hearkens after it,And grows erect, as that comes home.Such wilt thou be to me, who must,Like the other foot, obliquely run;Thy firmness makes my circle just,And makes me end where I begun.
  8. 8. Written by John Donne p. 442-444
  9. 9.  Analyze the conceit that compares mankind to a volume  Mankind = Volume  God = _________________  Individual men = _________________  Death = _________________  Sickness, war, justice = _________________  Library = _________________ Explain the conceit that states “no man is an island.” For whom does the bell toll and what does Donne mean?
  10. 10. p. 439: #s 2, 3, 5p. 444: #s 4, 5, 6