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A Valediction Forbidding Mourning (John Donne) The poem "A Val

The poem "A Valediction, Forbidding Mourning" is a love poem from a man to his lover. However, as this paper will show, the speaker in the poem uses very intellectual terms and concepts to talk about a love that he believes is better than other people's love because it is a love of the mind. Because of this the speaker's tone, which at first may seem lyrical and poetic, appears more clinical and detached upon explication as Donne cleverly creates the metaphors to describe his love and demonstrate his intellect.

The poem begins with the speaker discussing how some people die without sadness while their friends mourn their death. The speaker says that "virtuous men pass mildly away And whisper their souls to go" (lines 1-2). He means that people who have lived good lives do not fear death but their friends will miss them when they are gone. Therefore, the speaker sets up the relationship of two people who love each other but must part from each other that he will keep coming back to throughout the poem.

In the next stanza, the speaker strengthens the divine nature of his love relationship that he set up with the comparison to a person's relationship with God in the first line. He says it would be "profanation of our joys To tell the laity of our love" (lines 7-8). The use of the word "laity" suggests the divine nature of his love. The speaker then again strengthens the divine metaphor when he compares the fear that men feel for natural occurrences like earthquakes û "Moving of th' earth" (line 9) û to the fear men feel for divine occurrences û "the spheres" (line 11). He says that theirs is not a "Dull sublunary lovers' love" (line 13). Sublunary means below the moon, and the speaker is saying here that a mortal love is limited by the presence of the physical, mortal lovers: "cannot admit Absence, for that it doth remove Those things which elemented it" (lines 14-16). In the next stanza, he says clearly that this is n...

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A Valediction Forbidding Mourning (John Donne) The poem "A Val. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:56, June 24, 2019, from