The Song Essay

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The Song

Many of John Donne's poems are on the subject of love and equally as many on the subject of sex. As a love poet, especially when Donne writes vividly on his wife he is very much concerned with his subject
(his wife) however he can appear selfish and cold in the more sexual referenced poems. To fully make my point I have studied two poems, which I believe show his character as less self-absorbed as in the sexual referenced poems.

This poem is written for his wife and is essentially saying goodbye as he is leaving her 'physically' but arguing that she mustn't be sad of his departure and instead arguing that they are not really parting and each verse is a different 'image' or argument for this.

I feel that this poem
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This is an effective metaphor as when compared to the distance of the world that the sun has to travel to return, his distance seems small and therefore not as bad, and combining his feelings with the relatively small distance, this reassures that there is every chance of him returning.

When thou sigh'st, thou sigh'st not wind,
But sigh'st my soul away;
When thou weep'st, unkindly kind, my life's blood doth decay.

When she sighs or weeps, he says he feels worse. This is his way of asking her to not be sad at his leaving and uses the paradox unkindly kind, which means that she is being cruel to him by being upset as it is hurting him inside (his blood doth decay - decaying away inside, the blood). In a way he is selfish in his love, as he doesn't like to see her upset over him so uses his 'power' he has over her to stop her from making him feel worse. If she really loved him then she would not break him up as she is and waste his life. (It cannot be, that thou lov'st me, as thou say'st, If in thine my life thou waste)

Let not thy divining heart
Forethink me any
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