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The Canonization

Poetry Analysis

Brynne Becker

on 26 November 2012

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Transcript of The Canonization

John Donne The Canonization Stanza 1 Analysis of Stanza 1 Stanza 2 Stanza 4 Analysis of Stanza 2 Analysis of Stanza 4 Stanza 5 Analysis For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love,
Or chide my palsy, or my gout,
My five gray hairs, or ruined fortune flout,
With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve,
Take you a course, get you a place,
Or the king;s real, or his stampèd face
Contemplate; what you will, approve,
So you will let me love. Alas, alas, who's injured by my love?
What merchant's ship have my sighs drowned?
Who says my tears have overflowed his ground?
When did my colds a forward spring remove?
When did the heats which my veins fill
Add one more to the plaguy bill?
Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
Litigious men, which quarrels move,
Though she and I do love. We can die by it, if not live by love,
And if unfit for tombs and hearse
Our legend be, it will be fit for verse;
And if no piece of chronicle we prove,
We'll build in sonnets pretty rooms;
As well as a well-wrought urn becomes
The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs,
And by these hymns, all shall approve
Us canonized for Love. Brynne Becker Content The speaker uses an exasperated tone to ask a critic to cease talking and let him love (line 1). If the critic is unable to do this, then he should criticize the speaker's other flaws (2-3). The speaker tells the critic that he can improve his mind, go to school, get a job, honor the king, earn money, and focus on things that have earned the critics approval (4-8). The speaker wishes that the critic would do everything mentioned in lines 4-8 so that he would be left alone to love (9). The poem begins with "For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love" (Line 1). The title of the poem suggests that this is a poem about religion. However, this poem begins with the speaker taking God's name in vain. The speaker is so passionate about his love that he takes the name of the Lord in vain while attacking his critic. This conveys the rage the speaker feels towards the critic for attacking his love. The speaker is willing to be criticized for any other aspect of his life, but he will not tolerate his love being criticized. Analysis rhyme scheme: ABBACCCAAThe words that correspond with A (love, improve, and approve) all have a positive connotation associated with them. The word love is found in the first and last line of this stanza. This means that everything begins and ends with love. Syntax, Tone, and Diction Punctuation : This stanza is an enjambment. The only period in this stanza occurs at the end of line 9 after the word love. This implies that love is final. Their are many commas in this stanza. This creates an emotional tone and helps convey the speaker's passion for love and frustration towards the critic. The poem begins with an exasperated tone. The speaker is very passionate about his love. Conclusion Stanza 3 Call us what you will, we are made such by love;
Call her one, me another fly,
We're tapers too, and at our own cost die,
And we in us find the eagle and the dove.
The phoenix riddle hath more wit
By us; we two being one, are it.
So, to one natural thing both sexes fit.
We die and rise the same, and prove
Mysterious by this love. Analysis of Stanza 3 Stanza 5 And thus invoke us: "You, whom reverend love
Made one another's hermitage;
You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage;
Who did the whole world's soul contract, and drove
Into the glasses of your eyes
(So made such mirrors, and such spies,
That they did all to you epitomize)
Countries, towns, courts: beg from above
A pattern of your love!" Content In Stanza 2 lines 1-6, the speaker asks a series of rhetorical questions to the critic. The questions are about several events that could never be affected by the speaker's love. The final three lines in this stanza state that wars will still occur and lawyers will still find litigious men whether these two people love each other or not. rhyme scheme: ABBACCCAA The word love is found in the first and last line of this stanza. This means that everything begins and ends with love.

The first six lines in this stanza are rhetorical questions. The speaker uses these questions to prove that his love does not have any harmful consequences. Syntax, Imagery and Diction Analysis and Tone The rhetorical questions in lines 1-6 are intended to convey the message that the love between these two people do not cause any catastrophes . The final three lines in the stanza convey the message that every-day events will continue to occur without being impacted by the feelings between the speaker and his lover. This stanza has a mocking tone as it is intended to criticize the critic for his fixation on the speaker's love. This stanza is full of very negative diction:
injured (Line 1)
drowned (Line 2)
plaguy (Line 6)
wars (Line 7)
quarrels (Line 8)

Lines 1-6 contain the stronger negative diction. This part of the stanza also contains the stronger negative imagery. The words ships (2), drowned (2), tears (3), and overflowed (3) create images of storms, shipwrecks, and flooding. The words cold (4) and heats (5) create the feelings of extreme heat and cold. The word plaguy (6) conjures up images of sickness and death. These images and words combined with the mocking tone convey the message that the speaker's love has no relationship to any catastrophic event and it is ridiculous for the critic to treat this love as if it could be a cause of a natural disaster.

Lines 7-8 contain more common diction such as soldiers and lawyers (7). Soldiers and lawyers are common occupations. The inclusion of these professions proves that everyday life will continue without regard to the speaker's love life.
Syntax, contrast, diction, motion,
imagery, metaphors, and personification Syntax
rhyme scheme: ABBACCCAA The word love is found in the first and last line of this stanza. This means that everything begins and ends with love. This is particularly true for line 1 which states that "we are made by such love".

Syntax, Contrast, and Diction
The use of punctuation in this stanza creates a contrast between the words two and one. Line 1 states that "we" are "made" by "love". In line 2, Donne replaces the "we" with the words "her" and "me". These two words are separated by a comma which adds to the separation between the speaker and his lover. However, by the end of the poem the speaker and his lover are "we" again. This reinforces the theme that love is what brings the two together and allows them to become one.
In this stanza, love is personified. Love makes the two people one (Line 1). Love calls the two lovers individually (2). Love kills and resurrects the two lovers (8). Metaphors
One of the metaphors in this stanza is "We're tapers too, and at our own cost die" (3). The speaker states that he and his lover are candles that will burn up. Love is the cost that these two people will die. Imagery
The eagle (4) is associated with freedom and strength. The dove (4) is associated with peace. Love is freely given, strong, and peaceful. Donne also uses fire imagery. In line 3, he mentions tapers which is a synonym for candles. He also mentions the phoenix riddle (5). The phoenix is born from the ashes, dies by fire, and is reborn again from the ashes. The fire imagery helps convey the message that love is burning, bright, and eternal. Context The speaker tells the critic to call them whatever he wishes, but they are both made by love. The speaker says that they are candles that will die from themselves. The speaker and his lover find the eagle and the dove within themselves. They have found the answer to the phoenix riddle and have become one. They rise and die by love. Analysis The speaker tells the critic that is does not matter what name is given to him or his lover because they are both made from love. The two lovers are candles that burn with love and are eventually melted down by love. They discover that love is free, peaceful, and strong. In doing so, the two have solved the phoenix riddle and now understand the mystery of love. The speaker also states that both genders are equal when he says that "we two being one... die and rise the same..." (6-8). Love allows a person to be reborn after it consumes them. Syntax, Imagery, and Diction Syntax
rhyme scheme: ABBACCCAA The word love is found in the first and last line of this stanza. This means that everything begins and ends with love.
Love is only capitalized once in this poem and it occurs at the end of Stanza 4 line 9. The purpose of this is to raise the importance of love and transform it into something tangible. Imagery and Diction
This stanza is full of death imagery. The words die (1), tombs (2), hearse (2), urn (6), and ashes (7) create images of death. However, there is also imagery of the afterlife. This stanza is full of religious imagery. The words verse (3), hymns (8), and canonized (9) conjure up images of the Church, heaven, and God. There are also many words associated with literature. The words legend (3), chronicle (4), and sonnets (5) all appear in this stanza. The word legend implies that although the lovers will die, their love can still live on. The words verse (3), chronicle (4), sonnets (5), and hymns (8) all appear in the same stanza to imply that these secular writings about love are as important as religious works.

The word approve appears twice in this poem. The first time it appears is in Stanza 1 Line 8. This approval belongs to one person, the critic. The critic does not approve of the speaker's love. The second time the word approve appears in in Stanza 4 line 8. The speaker is saying "all shall approve". The speaker plans to silence all the critics of love and gain universal approval. Context The speaker says that if we are not able to live off of love, we can still die from love. The love between the speaker and his lover is to great to die. The legend of this love is good enough to be immortalized through poetry. If this love will not appear in chronicles, the speaker and his lover will write sonnets. A skillfully constructed urn is as good as giant tombs. Everyone shall approve of these hymns of love. The poet and his lover will be canonized as saints for love. Analysis The speaker states that his love is too great to die. He states that he and his lover will immortalize their love through poetry. He elevates the intensity of this love by comparing the poetry that was inspired by it to religious writings. These poems would also be as popular as hymns and no one would ever find fault with the speaker's love again. The last stanza states that the love between the speaker and his lover is so great and inspiring that the two will be canonized as saints. This is also relates back to poetry because most poets achieve approval and fame after their deaths and saints are canonized after their deaths. Syntax, Imagery and Tone Syntax
rhyme scheme: ABBACCCAA The word love is found in the first and last line of this stanza. This means that everything begins and ends with love.
There is a lot of punctuation in the middle of the lines in this poem. This created a choppiness that created an emotional tone.
The exclamation point at the end of the last line in this stanza also adds an excitement and a sense of triumph to this poem.

The majority of this stanza is in quotation marks. This is because the speaker is now speaking from the point of view of those who will invoke the speaker and his lover in the future. Motion
The inclusion of the eagle, the phoenix, and the dove creates a flying motion in this stanza. This contributes to the theme that love is free and can cause life to rise up from death. Tone
The punctuation that breaks up the lines creates a choppiness that adds emotion to this stanza. The strong diction, including words such as reverend (1), peace (2), epitomize (7), and love (9), reveal how beloved the speaker and his lover are in the future. The exclamation point at the end of line 9 conveys a sense of triumph that the world's approval has justified the speaker's argument against the critic.
Content In the final stanza, the speaker states that once he and his lover are "canonized" as the saints of love, people will appeal to them for help. The speaker ends the poem by speaking from the point of view of the people who will call upon them. When the two look into each other's eyes, the world watches them and tries to imitate them. These people view the speaker and his lover as the epitome of love. Countries, towns, and courts beg the two to reveal how to achieve the pattern of their love. Religious Diction and Imagery
The word reverend (line 1) has a double meaning. In this context it means deserving of deep respect. However, reverend is also a title for a member of the clergy. The speaker also says that people "invoke us" (1). Catholics invoke saints when they pray. This continues to portray the image that the speaker and his lover have achieved a level similar to sainthood. Analysis The speaker tells the critic that one day, he and is lover will be so revered that people will invoke their names. He imagines that countries, towns, and courts will attempt to imitate the pattern of their love because they have the perfect love. The poet ends on a triumphant note because the speaker believes that the future approval and adoration he aspires to achieve will prove his critic wrong and he will be left alone to love. Irony
In the second stanza, the speaker asks a series of rhetorical questions that are intending to prove that the feelings between the speaker and his lover will not have any effect on the world. However, by the final stanza, the speaker dreams that the love between him and his lover will have inspired such amazing love poetry that people will invoke their names and try to imitate their pattern of love. Surprise
The title suggests that religion is the central focus of the poem. Although religion is mentioned often, the central focus of the poem is the love between the speaker and his lover. Final Analysis Irony, Repetition, and Surprise Donne portrays the value individuals place on love in the first stanza. People place their love above all things. In the second stanza, Donne states that love can not cause any harm. In the third stanza, he reveals that love transcends everything, including death. Anything is possibly once the mystery of love is solved. Donne states that love lives on through literature that is as powerful as religious literature in the fourth stanza. The final stanza portrays how powerful an individual believes his or her love for another can be. The final stanza also reveals the human desire to find the perfect pattern of love and how people will idolize those who appear to have found it. Donne uses repetition, religious imagery, and highly emotional diction to convey his message about the intensity of love. Repetition
The word love is repeated at the end of the first line and the ninth line in every stanza. This is done to unify the poem and to keep the theme of the poem constantly on the reader's mind.
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