The Sunrising

The Sunrising

John Donne's “The Sun Rising” 1. Type of poem: 1. Lyric 2. Rhyming: abbacddcee fggfhiihjj kllkibibmm (note that the last stanza has a slightly different rhyme scheme). 3. Three stanzas of ten lines apiece. First two lines are shorter than the rest. 2. Title & implications for theme: 1. Literal meaning; happens everyday 3. Approximate date & implications: 1. 1633; thus, this is a part of Donne's earlier, secular poetry (not the later, religiouslythemed poetry) 4. Elaborations re. theme: 1. Sun, for them, is centered on their bed (& bedroom) 2. Inevitability of natural cycles 3. Beloved as Petrarchan ideal (at least to a certain extent) 5. Structure of poetic argument: 1. Sets up several rhetorical questions & answers them 1. Use of the interrogative voice 6. Styles: 1. Informal; lucid (but dense); emotional; descriptive (and also somewhat analytical, because of interrogative structure). 7. Sources of the principle effects: 1. “Busy old fool, unruly Sun” (Donne 1:137). 1. Personification. See also “[s]aucy pedantic wretch”1 (Donne 5:137). Personification of the sun is evident throughout the poem. 2. “Love, all alike” (Donne 2:137). 1. Alliteration 3. “If her eyes have not blinded thine” (Donne 15:137). 1. Her eyes could (metaphorically) blind the (personified) sun. 1. Thus, tells us that she's linked to the Petrarchan ideal of feminine beauty. However, she also isn't because she's obviously attainable (being that she's in bed with the male narrator). 4. “Princes do but play us; compared to this, / All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy” (Donne 23-24:138). 1. Metaphorical: worldly things (i.e., titles and wealth) don't matter. 2. Alchemy2: fraudulent. I.e., all “wealth” is lead, not gold, in relation to their love. 5. “Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere; / This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere” (Donne 29-30:138). 1. If you're lost as to the poem's theme, look to the last couplet at the end of the poem (more common in older than in newer poetry) for a...

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