Justify the tittle of the poem "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning."

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lusie0520 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The definition of valediction is “the act of saying farewell."  Therefore, in the poem “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning,” the author is saying farewell but forbidding his beloved to mourn.  In the second stanza, he says, “So let us melt, and make no noise, / No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move.”  He does not want his beloved to cry copious tears for him; a quiet goodbye is enough. In the fourth stanza, the author talks about “sublunary” lovers, or lovers who are worldly as opposed to spiritual; he says they cannot admit absence.  In the fifth stanza, however, he says that he and his lover are more spiritual, “But we by a love so much refined…” and then goes on to say they “care less” for physical presence. “Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.”  He continues this thought in the sixth stanza when he says, “Though I must go, endure not yet  A breach, but an expansion.”  The last three stanzas of the poem are a comparison of their souls to “twin compasses”; one stands firm while the other roams, and in the end: “Thy firmness makes my circle just, / And makes me end where I begun.”  She stands firm, and this makes him return to her.  Although they are apart, no mourning is necessary because their hearts are always united.

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A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

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