A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning Questions and Answers
by John Donne

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In what four ways does the speaker compare that situation in stanzas one through nine in "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning"?  

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Donne's metaphysical conceit in "A Valediction:  Forbidding Mourning" only comes into play in the final three of the nine stanzas.  Donne uses a total of four comparisons in the poem, one of which is the conceit that involves the legs of a compass.

Here are the four comparisons, stated directly for you:

  1. Separation of death compared with separation when one lover leaves another (stanzas one & two).  Let we two lovers not cry or sigh, but keep our separation to ourselves.  The idea is that to speak loosely about their feelings is to lose them.
  2. Movement of the earth draws attention to itself, yet movement among the stars, which is movement of far more importance, goes unnoticed (stanzas three-five).  Their love is like the movement of the stars.  It doesn't need to draw attention to itself to be monumental.  They don't need to cry or make a show of their separation.
  3. Their love does not suffer a breach, or break, but experiences an expansion:  like gold that is beaten...

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