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"The Good Morrow"

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Cherry Chan

on 10 April 2015

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Transcript of "The Good Morrow"

"The Good Morrow"
John Donne
John Donne, was a leading English poet of the Metaphysical school, and is often considered the greatest loved poet in the English language.
Effects on the Audience
I wonder by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved ? were we not wean'd till then ?
But suck'd on country pleasures, childishly ?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers' den ?
'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.
Literary Devices
In lines 2-3, "Were we not wean'd till then? But suck'd on country pleasures, childishly?"
Compares the state the characters prior to falling in love with their childhood
Shows that they were young and childish, perhaps like babies, before falling in love
In line 4, "Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers' den?"
Expresses that they were essentially "asleep" all this time before meeting one another and not living life to the fullest
In lines 17-18: "Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west?"
It compares themselves to hemispheres, and they are not perfect without one another
When they come together, they become one world and form one perfect sphere without any imperfections
History of the Poem
Written when Donne was still a
law student at Lincoln's inn.
Published in his collection
Songs and Sonnets
in 1633, two years after his death.
This poem is one of his earliest works and one of the
first works done in collection
The poem is written with twenty-one lines and split
into three stanzas
The poem makes use of biblical
and Catholic writings, like
referencing the story of
the Seven Sleepers
within the poem
Donne was born on January 22nd, 1572.
He was born into a Catholic family during a strong anti-Catholic period.

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.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone ;
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown ;
Let us possess one world ; each hath one, and is one.
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 ?
Whatever dies, was not mix'd equally ;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die.
"The Good Morrow"
John Donne's Works
In Donne's earliest poems, he criticized the English society; satirizing about
Elizabethan topics (corruption in legal system, mediocre poets, etc.)
He also mentions about the problem of true religion throughout his poems. He
believed that it was better to carefully understand one's religious convictions than to just blindly follow any established traditions.
In his early career, he wrote many erotic poems with bizarre metaphors, such as a
flea biting two lovers compared to sex in the poem "The Flea".
After the death of his wife, Anne More and other friends, he turned to writing more
on the topic of death.

The speaker is the awakening man, who is addressing his lover after spending the night together.
A man wakes up beside his lover and starts to talk about love, questioning what the two did before they were in a relationship. He explains how they were probably young and obsessed with sex, not like they are now, truly in love with someone.
He goes on saying how their souls are in it for this relationship and they do not need to be connected to the world, their bedroom is their whole world.
Together they build a whole world, each being a hemisphere. Since hemispheres are identical, he explains how this represents how it shows their love is balanced and it will likely never die.
Since the narrator just woke up, it should be early in the morning, still on the lovers' bed.
I think he began talking about his relationship because he came to realized that he really loved his lover. Without her, he would still be young, childish, and just being obsessed with sex. His lover became his everything, his world, and how he wanted their love to never die.
I enjoyed the poem because it still does relate to how our society is now. Many people do not take relationships seriously. When they are young, obsessed with only sex, and immature. But when you find your "true love", they become your world, and they change the way you see what love really is.

The rhyming was not all over the place; in fact it is only noticeable after reading the poem over a few times. This helps the reader concentrate more on poem while reading.
The metaphors used in the poem helps visualize and better understand what the writer is trying to convey.
The poem studied metaphysics as John Donne was a metaphysical poet. The story takes place with a realistic setting and a topic of which many people can relate to. The speaker realizes that without his true love, he did not truly "live" his life. His present now with his lover is the true reality. He views sex as an important part of one's love life, and both complement one another. Without one of them, it simply just is not the true meaning of love.
Donne is considered one of the best at metaphysical
poetry from his exceptional extended metaphors, combining two completely different ideas and combining it into one, often using imagery.
Where the first and last words of the sentence is the same
Line 1: "

, by my
what thou
. . . "
Where there is a deliberate repetition of a phrase or word
Lines 12, 13 and 14; "
-discoverers . . .
maps . . .

us . . . "
When the same letter or sound is repeating
Line 2: ". . . Were we not wean'd till then?"
An element or idea that occurs throughout the poem
Spheres: from the description of the world, to hemispheres,
to the eyes of his lover. He compares her to a sphere because it is a faultless shape, with no corners or edges. His beloved's face has become his world.

Where the author refers to a subject of matter such as a
place, event, or literary work
Line 4: referencing to the story of the Seven Sleepers
Seven Christians were put into a cave by a Roman Emperor and left there to die but they miraculously just slept for 187 years
Where the author using an expressions that exaggerates it's
real meaning
Line 4: "Or snorted we in the
Seven Sleepers'
The author asks what he thinks they slept for 187 years before meeting one another. That is why he is so happy to wake up next to his lover.
Line 20-21: "If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die."
He expresses that their love is perfection and together their feelings will never die, meaning it will be immortal.
Literary Analysis
The speaker is the man who had just woke up and talking about his lover about their love
He is very passionate about this topic; so in love with love, very romantic
What do you think the tone of the speaker is?
Uses many figurative languages, like metaphors, alliterations, onomatopoeia, etc.
Asks many questions about his past love
Repeats many words throughout the poem
Line 2: "Did, till we loved? Were
we not weaned till then?"
This suggests babies being weaned by the breast and expresses their immaturity of their previous emotional life
He his questioning, confused about what he did before the relationship
Line 4: "Or snorted we in the
Seven Sleepers'
This suggests that they were "asleep" before meeting each other.
Mood seems dark, you do not feel anything while being asleep
Lamb Meter
where the first syllable unaccented and the second accented
Iambic Pentameter: five pairs for each line in the poem
Iambic Hexameter: ending of each stanza has six pairs
Alliterations are present throughout the poem
It has twenty-one lines and split into three stanzas
A rhyming scheme is present from the ending word of each line
Each stanza is split into a quatrain (ABAB), followed by a triplet (CCC)
Stanza 3
My face in thine eye, thine in mine
And true plain hearts do in the faces
Where can we find two better
Without sharp north, without declining
Whatever dies, was not mixed
If our two loves be one, or, thou and
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can
Each line has 10 syllables with the exception of
the last line of each stanza, having 12 syllables.
There are three stanzas, each representing the
past, present, and future for the speaker
Lover of the speaker became his new world and he loves her very much
Questions his own past before meeting her
He explains that they do not need to travel the world, they only need their room
Believing that their love will be immortal
He expresses that from his past experiences, sex on its own is not enjoyable unless done with the one you truly love
Relationship between the spiritual and physical love for one another
Which philosophical theories are present in the poem?
By: John Donne
Why do you think the poem is called "The Good Morrow"?
When you think of the word "asleep", what words come to mind?
In 1615, he was appointed as Royal Chaplain.
His wife died in 1617, after giving birth to their 12th child.
He no longer wrote about love poems, he spent most of his time and effort on more religious subjects.
His illness never seemed to improve; he became more interested with the topic about death.
“Death’s death” was his pre-funeral sermon.
Donne died on March 31st, 1631, the purpose was thought to be stomach cancer but it has not been proven.
Buried in old St Paul's Cathedral.
After Donne's brother, Henry died, he questioned his religion
This topic inspired some of his best writing on religion.
He went to Oxford University and University of Cambridge.
At age 20, Donne studied law at Lincoln’s Inn.
He spent a lot of his inheritance on women, books, and travel. His love lyrics and erotic poems were mostly written during this time.
His first books of poems included “Satires” and “Songs and Sonnets.”
His writing of the mortal paradox influenced English poets for many generations. His work hit a low period, but in the 20th century it became notable once again by admirers such as T.S. Eliot and William Butler Yeats.
He is considered a founder of a style of verse known as "metaphysical poetry"
He married Anne More, the niece of Sir Egerton.
Lord Egerton fired Donne and had him imprisoned for a short time.
For eight years, the couple had struggled until Anne’s father finally paid her dowry.
I wonder by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved ? were we not wean'd till then ?
But suck'd on country pleasures, childishly ?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers' den ?
'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.
Stanza 1
Are there any alliterations present in this stanza?
Full transcript