“The Sun Rising” is a lyric poem divided into three stanzas of ten lines each. Each stanza is further divided into two quatrains, respectively rhyming abba and cddc, and a couplet rhyming ee. The title, “The Sun Rising,” suggests an aubade, a song sung by lovers upon parting at morning; John Donne, however, renders a parody of the tender love songs written for such occasions. Parting from his beloved is the last thing the speaker of the poem desires to do. Moreover, the title allows for a physical image of the sun actually getting out of bed, an action that the lovers refuse to follow.
In this poem, Donne uses both personification—figurative use of language in which human qualities or feelings are attributed to nonhuman things—and apostrophe—a figure of speech in which a personification is addressed—when the poem’s speaker addresses the sun in all three stanzas. The persona or speaker in this poem is the lover who argues with the sun about the power of love to exist outside time and space.
In the first stanza, the speaker irreverently rebukes the sun, whom he calls a “busy old fool” and a “saucy pedantic wretch” for daring to disturb the lovers as if they were mere “schoolboys” or “sour prentices.” Donne’s allusion to King James I’s passion for early hunting outings (line 7) is often used for dating this poem after 1603, the date of James’s ascension to the throne of England....
(The entire section is 510 words.)