The Good-Morrow

by John Donne

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Discuss how "The Good Morrow" differs from Elizabethan love lyrics.

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I would want to argue that the central way in which we can view "The Good Morrow" as being unique and different from Elizabethan love lyrics is through its use of conceits, or elaborate metaphors that are employed by the speaker to describe the state of union he has attained with his beloved. The use of conceits is of course a key component in metaphysical poetry, and forces us to see connections between objects that normally we would assume to separate and unrelated. For example, the love of the speaker and his beloved is said to be so powerful that it makes "one room an everywhere" which establishes a comparison that is developed in the final stanza, as the two faces of the speaker and his beloved are compared to hemispheres:

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?

This peculiar spatial way of describing the speaker's love and its effects is something that definitely distinguishes this poem from Elizabethan love lyrics as its novel presentation clearly differs from a more traditional and straightforward evocation of love.

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