Sun: importance of sun in English poetryWhy is sun a recurrent theme in the poetry of the Elizabethan period? Shakespeare used it in his sonnet no 18. Donne uses the 'sun' time and again. Did these...

Sun: importance of sun in English poetry

Why is sun a recurrent theme in the poetry of the Elizabethan period? Shakespeare used it in his sonnet no 18. Donne uses the 'sun' time and again. Did these poets take keen interest in astronomy? The solar world had an attraction for Donne. Waking at morning is also a theme in Donne's poem. But see how different is the treatment of the sun in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry .

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Interesting connection between the English poets and Hansberry's play and, by extension, on to Langston Hughes' poem. In the poem, the sun is a negative force--a dream deferred may "dry up like a raisin in the sun." Nothing much romantic about that image of the sun.

In the play, though, the sun takes on positive connotations. As I recall, the Youngers' apartment was very, very dark. Only one window in the kitchen let in any sunlight, and it was here that Mama tried to keep her one plant alive. One of the best features of the new house was the yard where Mama planned to garden out in the sunshine. In the play, then, the motif of the sun seems very consistent with its presentation in English literature, a life-giving, life-affirming force.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The sun rises so early over there...a group of students and I traveled to England for two weeks to see all the places we'd been studying and reading about for the entire year in AP Lit.  The sun actually rises around 4:30 every morning, a fact that had escaped me in reading so many of the pieces where they mention being up so early and working outside with full sun at 5:30 or 6am. 

So, they have a full day of it, and without it, not much would get done since candlelight, etc. is not as effective for work outside the home.  Just a thought.

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drrb | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Like the sun,'Rose' is an important symbol in literature. Long ago Robert Burns sang : 'My luve's like a red, red rose'. Since then rose is an integral part of romantic love literature. Chirstina Rossetti wrote about the wonderful rose in the ever poetic style of her own : O Rose , thou flower of flowers, thou fragrant wonder'. The Rose was in the deep of Yeats' hearts. Who can ever forget O.Henry's 'The Rose of Dixie'.

Dr.Bhattacharjee R.Kolkata, West Bengal, India

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The sun rises so early over there...a group of students and I traveled to England for two weeks to see all the places we'd been studying and reading about for the entire year in AP Lit.  The sun actually rises around 4:30 every morning, a fact that had escaped me in reading so many of the pieces where they mention being up so early and working outside with full sun at 5:30 or 6am. 

So, they have a full day of it, and without it, not much would get done since candlelight, etc. is not as effective for work outside the home.  Just a thought.

Amy, here in Korea, 5 am sometimes feels like 1 or 2 pm back home in RI.

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Probably because the sun means life.  Without it our bodies cannot produce chemicals that are needed for day to day living. The sun rising represents living, the sun setting represents dying or decay.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Sun is a recurrent theme, not only in the English poetry of all periods, but of all types of literature in all languages in all parts of the world. The reason for this are quite easy to understand. Fist thing is that it is one of the most recurrent phenomenon in the world and our life. Sun rises every day and remains in sky till sunset. Further it impacts our life in such powerful and all pervading ways. Added to all that is the magnificence of the sun. Also there is a mystery about it. We see it everyday, we are deeply affected by it, yet it is totally out of our reach. We are unable to ever comprehend it completely.

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