Please help me with the main theme of "The Sun rising" by John Donne.  Or explain and analyze each stanza in it 

1 Answer | Add Yours

lynnebh's profile pic

lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

This poem addresses the sun in a chiding way because the speaker is lying in bed with his love, and the sun is waking them up. He calls the sun a "busy old fool" that is calling to them through the window, with its beams. The speaker tells the sun to go somewhere else - go wake up schoolboys, go tell the king's hunstmen that it's time to go hunting -- go anywhere but stop pestering him and his love. In the second stanza, he tells the sun that it is not so great - why, he could shut out the sun's beams by simply closing his eyes but if he did that, then he would not be able to look upon his love. The speaker continues to criticize the sun for being old and not understanding their passion because all the sun has to do is shine on them and bug them:

Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,
        In that the world's contracted thus ;
    Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
    To warm the world, that's done in warming us.

We’ve answered 318,989 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question