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A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

John Donne

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analysis of poem
Added by: Tiffany
Throughout the poem, Donne reales, in verse, his insights on the human condition of love and its relationship to the soul by comparing it to drawing compasses. He wrote the poem as a parting dedication to his wife before leaving for a lond time. Donne used the image to demonstrate the perfect and complete nature of love between two individual people. The poem is the human soul descibed in the contex of a joint soul.
The poem begins quietly at the deathbed of a “virtuous man”. The death scene reminds him of the parting between two lovers.This reminds Donne of a parting between lovers being like death. In line 6, he writes “No floods of tears, no tempests of sighs”. The imagery of the weather leades into the motion of the earth and the “trepidation of the spheres”.
Within the poem, there is contex refering to love expanding and staying together. In lines 24-25 Donne writes “A breach, but an expansion/like gold to aery thinness beat”. When gold is heated, it doesn’t separate, but it only expands. That ties in with the diginity with which the lovers part. In lines 25-29, he writes, “If they be two, they ate two so/As stiff twin compasses are two;/thy soul, the fixed root, makes no show/To move, but doth, if th’ other do.” The fixed root can never be separated like the bodies. Donne argues that the lovers bodies are physically separated, but the two are joined by the soul.
In the last stanza, He writes, “Such wilt thou be to me, who must,/Like th’ other foot, obliquely run;/Thy firmness make my circle just,/And makes me end where I begun.” His love should not worry about the journey. The speaker states that he is like the “other foot” and must leave, but his strong love will only cause the soul to lean a bit like the handle of a compass. It is the strength of her love that makes the comparison perfest. He comes to a full circle and returns where he begun.
Added by: Danielle
it's just beautiful, is all.

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