How does John Donne glorify the uniqueness of his love in the poems "The Canonization" and "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning"?  

1 Answer | Add Yours

lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

John Donne glorifies the uniqueness of his love through use of original metaphor and imagery in his two poems "The Canonization" and "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning."  In both poems Donne sets himself apart by calling on very interesting, unique comparisons.  For example in "The Canonization," Donne uses the comparison of his love to a phoenix rising from the flame:

We die and rise the same, and prove
    Mysterious by this love.

This metaphor depicts the speaker's love as a bold, mysterious creature, powerfully gifted to recreate itself.

Moreover, in Donne's poem "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," Donne continues his use of unique metaphor by ascribing his love to that of a compass:

If they be two, they are two so                                          25
    As stiff twin compasses are two ; 
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show 
    To move, but doth, if th' other do. 

Donne's compass metaphor used in this poem is one of his most well known from all of his love poetry.  The imagery created by the moving compass, encircling and keeping pace with the "fix'd foot" reveals the constancy of Donne's affection.

Both of these poems reveal Donne's ability to create unique and beautiful metaphors to reveal insight pertaining to the uniqueness of his love.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,911 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question