AD's English Literature : The Theme of John Donne’s The Good-Morrow: Love, Depth and Devotion, Triumphs over all Earthly Mutability and Morality

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Theme of John Donne’s The Good-Morrow: Love, Depth and Devotion, Triumphs over all Earthly Mutability and Morality



John Donne’s The Good Morrow is a characteristic metaphysical poem which deals with the theme of love a strong and true passion of love. After this souls walking up the lover and the beloved are consumed with the passion of love and they became one. In fact, oneness in love triumph over all earthly mutability and morality and shines ever in mutual attachment a love which does not deal with the body but in the bond between the bond souls of the lovers.  The concentration of thought and compression style marks it is a metaphysical poem. The metaphysical conceits are drawn from geography mythology scholastic and philosophy and an intellectual approach to the subject of love make the poem a metaphysical poem. Read more about Poetry                     

The title phrase ‘Good Morrow’ means, good morning. It is a farm of greeting when one first meets someone in the morning session. The lower in the poem bids Good morning to the souls of his and his beloved which have woke up to the realization of love. It has a deepening significance as it refers to the awakens of the souls of the lovers after a long slumber and their meeting and falling in love with each other.Read more about Poetry

The poem begins with a listed questionnaire:

“I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I

Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?

But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?

Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den? ”

The interrogator suggests that both the poet and his beloved had been detached from their old habits of going on fanciful imagining and dreams on love before they actually loved each other. It is the typical awakening of the lover who has just realized what true love is. The spirits of the lover and his lady-love are fully awakened now to the passion of love. Hence, the awakened souls of the true lover greet each other of their first meeting.Read more about Poetry

 
The interrogator wants to mean here impliedly through this mood of question that before he and his beloved actually met and loved each other, they passed their pre-love period by getting delights from natural beauties just like the children. They also got pleasure from fancies and dream on love this play. Simply they behaved childishly in their pre-love period.Read more about Poetry Donne alludes to the story of the seven Christian youths of Ephesus who slept in a cave for long 187 years avoid the persecution of Decius, the Persian King to indicate that their souls were in deep slumber through the eggs before they were awakened by them. Read more about Poetry
The interrogator lover answers his own questing and says, “’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be/If ever any beauty I did see,/Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.” The lover says that the beautiful woman that he saw, desired and got in the past is only the images of the reality he now finds expressed in his beloved. His beloved is the archetypal beauty of which other women are shadowy reflections. This is the platonic conception of beauty and love. Now the interrogator lover farther explains his state of affairs and says,

“And now good-morrow to our waking souls,

Which watch not one another out of fear;

For love, all love of other sights controls,

And makes one little room an everywhere.”


The spirits of the lover and his lady are fully awakened to the storage and true passion of love and their awakened souls great each other. They are ruled by their mutual love their intense, truthful love has made their little room in which they live, as last to the as the universe. Read more about Poetry The interrogator lover here wants to signify that each of them had different world that each of them had different worlds of their selves but after they truly love each other they are fused into a  supreme world of love and therefore their two different worlds have become a single world of love since they are spiritual united now. Again it reminds Donne’s Songs and Sonnets, "The Anniversary" which project s the same traditional love:

 “All other things, to their destruction draw,
Only our love hath no decay;
This, no to-morrow hath, nor yesterday,
Running it never runs from us away,
But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.”
 

The interrogator lover here wants to explain the intensity of spiritual love of his and his lady for each other with the help of the imagery of a mirror. Their faces are here as mirrors that reflect their hearts full of true devoted love and therefore their faces are now index of their hearts where one can read the other. Read more about Poetry The The interrogator compares himself and his beloved with geographical hemisphere. In the earthly hemisphere the north region is clod and icy whereas the south is warm and pleasant. But the unified world of love of the lovers knows no cold no warmth. So, the two lovers are surely two better hemispheres forming one unified world of love than the actual geographical world itself:

“My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,

And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;

Where can we find two better hemispheres,

Without sharp north, without declining west?”


According the scholastic theories of the nature of pure substance, lack of homogeneity in the composition of a thing proves destructive but identical elements can be early fused. The poet assertion is that he and his lady love having identical hearts full of love for each other are completely fused a unified entity and so their love is immortal. Read more about Poetry


The interrogator lover  opines here that only those elements which are not fully fused are subjected to degeneration are punishable. But their intense, truthful love each other fused then into a unified whole and thus they have achieved perpetual union even in this mortal world:

“Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;

If our two loves be one, or, thou and I

Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.”

 Again, the interrogator lover means that the love between man and woman being pure and inviolable, it leaves no room for paying attention to other things. Though the love is selfish but is certainly absolute.  Love has fused the two worlds of the lovers into one unified whole. In this globe however there is not the sharp beating cold, north wind nor west wind when sun sets. Read more about Poetry Through a conceit, the interrogator lover argues that according to the medieval theory of alchemy, a metal in which the components are not proportionately mixed is a liable to decay and destruction. The interrogator lover opines that their intense sincere love is the amalgamation of the selves. Their souls are vigil and immortal.
The Good Morrow is typical love poem by John Donne. Here is the traditional declaration of triumph of love than any earthly object. Here is however old wine in a new bottle of conceits.


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