What is the conceit of John Donne's "Valediction: A Forbidding Mourning"?
John Donne opens this poem with another conceit, and while it is not the central comparison of the poem, it does establish the point of the poem and the gives a context. Donne is telling his love that he must be away, and they will have to part soon. He tells her that he wants their parting to be as subtle as that moment between life and death. This seems like a strange comparison, hence it is considered a conceit. He elaborates how they should behave in the first two lines of the second stanza, stating he wants no outward show of their emotion upon parting. This leads to his ultimate point -- that the two of them have a love that is greater than most, and therefore, doesn't need a public display; in fact it would be debase their love.
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