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A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 2015-5-61. 1. It is John Donne's another love poem in which the poet holds the positive attitude towards love. According.

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Presentation on theme: "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 2015-5-61. 1. It is John Donne's another love poem in which the poet holds the positive attitude towards love. According."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

2 1. It is John Donne's another love poem in which the poet holds the positive attitude towards love. According to the biography written by Izaak Walton, the poem was written in 1611 when Donne went to France with Robert Drury, and the poem was addressed to Donne's wife. There is a touch of melancholy in the poem, and coincidentally, Donne's wife gave birth to a dead baby while Donne was in France. The poem contains nine quatrains of iambic tetrameter. The rhyme scheme of each quatrain is a b a b. The title “ A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning ” means “ a farewell: Don't grieve over my leavetaking. ” A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning [1]

3 As virtuous men pass mildly away [2], And whisper to their souls, to go [3], Whilst some of their sad friends do say, The breath goes now, and some say, no: So let us melt [4], and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move [5], ' Twere profanation [6] of our joys To tell the laity [7] our love. Moving of th' earth [8] brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did and meant, But trepidation of the spheres [9], Though greater [10] far, is innocent [11]. 2. pass mildly away: die peacefully A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 3. As men are dying, they whisper to their souls, asking the souls to leave the world with their bodies. Here the body and the soul are referring to the poet and his lover. They two are as inseparable as the soul and the body

4 As virtuous men pass mildly away [2], And whisper to their souls, to go [3], Whilst some of their sad friends do say, The breath goes now, and some say, no: So let us melt [4], and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move [5], ' Twere profanation [6] of our joys To tell the laity [7] our love. Moving of th' earth [8] brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did and meant, But trepidation of the spheres [9], Though greater [10] far, is innocent [11]. 4. let us melt: The love between the poet and his lover is so intense that they melt into each other. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 5. Line 6: The lovers ought to part like virtuous men bidding farewell to the world, without any outward show of grief. The exaggerated expressions “ tear-floods, sigh- tempests ” are Petrarchan conceits that were popular during the time of Donne. move: stir up

5 As virtuous men pass mildly away [2], And whisper to their souls, to go [3], Whilst some of their sad friends do say, The breath goes now, and some say, no: So let us melt [4], and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move [5], ' Twere profanation [6] of our joys To tell the laity [7] our love. Moving of th' earth [8] brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did and meant, But trepidation of the spheres [9], Though greater [10] far, is innocent [11]. 6. profanation: blasphemy A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 7. laity: one who is not a clergyman. The poet here is saying that love is a sacred thing

6 As virtuous men pass mildly away [2], And whisper to their souls, to go [3], Whilst some of their sad friends do say, The breath goes now, and some say, no: So let us melt [4], and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move [5], ' Twere profanation [6] of our joys To tell the laity [7] our love. Moving of th' earth [8] brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did and meant, But trepidation of the spheres [9], Though greater [10] far, is innocent [11]. 8. Moving of th' earth: earthquakes. In Donne's time, earthquakes were believed to be caused by God's anger and they were sure to bring disaster to the world. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 9. trepidation of the spheres: libration of the ninth or crystalline sphere, which accounted for the precession of the equinoxes. trepidation: shuddering

7 As virtuous men pass mildly away [2], And whisper to their souls, to go [3], Whilst some of their sad friends do say, The breath goes now, and some say, no: So let us melt [4], and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move [5], ' Twere profanation [6] of our joys To tell the laity [7] our love. Moving of th' earth [8] brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did and meant, But trepidation of the spheres [9], Though greater [10] far, is innocent [11]. 10. greater: The trepidation of the spheres is a far greater happening in nature than the earthquake. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 11. innocent: harmless

8 A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

9 Dull sublunary [12] lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit [13] Absence, because it [14] doth remove Those things which elemented it [15]. But we by a love, so much refined [16], That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assured [17] of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss [18]. Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet [19] A breach, but an expansion [20], Like gold to aery thinness beat [21]. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 12. sublunary: below the moon, i.e., the earthly. The earthly love is gross and physical, more corrupt than the heaven's

10 Dull sublunary [12] lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit [13] Absence, because it [14] doth remove Those things which elemented it [15]. But we by a love, so much refined [16], That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assured [17] of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss [18]. Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet [19] A breach, but an expansion [20], Like gold to aery thinness beat [21]. 13. Line 14: soul: essence; sense: physical; admit: stand, suffer A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 14. it: referring to “ absence ”

11 Dull sublunary [12] lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit [13] Absence, because it [14] doth remove Those things which elemented it [15]. But we by a love, so much refined [16], That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assured [17] of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss [18]. Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet [19] A breach, but an expansion [20], Like gold to aery thinness beat [21]. 15. Line 16: those things: things that are related to the senses; elemented: composed; it: physical love, i.e., “ whose soul is sense ” in Line 14 A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 16. refined: purified

12 Dull sublunary [12] lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit [13] Absence, because it [14] doth remove Those things which elemented it [15]. But we by a love, so much refined [16], That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assured [17] of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss [18]. Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet [19] A breach, but an expansion [20], Like gold to aery thinness beat [21]. 17. Inter-assured: mutually assured. It is used to modify “ we ” in Line 17. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 18. Line 20: The normal order of the sentence is “ Care less, to miss eyes, lips, and hands ”, meaning “ we do not care much to miss eyes, lips, and hands ”. care less: careless, modifying “ we ” in line 17. Eyes, lips, and hands are referring to all kinds of senses

13 Dull sublunary [12] lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit [13] Absence, because it [14] doth remove Those things which elemented it [15]. But we by a love, so much refined [16], That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assured [17] of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss [18]. Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet [19] A breach, but an expansion [20], Like gold to aery thinness beat [21]. 19. endure not yet: yet not endure, yet not suffer A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 20. Line 23: breach: breaking, separation; expansion: stretching. “ breach ” and “ expansion ” are the objects of “ endure ” in the above line

14 Dull sublunary [12] lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit [13] Absence, because it [14] doth remove Those things which elemented it [15]. But we by a love, so much refined [16], That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assured [17] of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss [18]. Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet [19] A breach, but an expansion [20], Like gold to aery thinness beat [21]. 21. Line 24: like gold beaten into extremely thin sheets, which weigh as lightly as air. Here the simile of beating gold into very thin sheets is used to describe the parting. Also here the poet makes comparison between “ aery thinness ” love and “ sublunary love ”. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

15 A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

16 If they be two, they are two so [22] As stiff twin compasses are two [23], Thy soul the fixed foot [24], makes no show To move, but doth [25], if th' other do [26]. And though it [27] in the centre sit, Yet when the other far doth roam, It leans, and hearkens [28] after it [29], And grows erect, as that [29] comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must Like the other foot [29], obliquely [30] run; Thy firmness makes my circle just [31], And makes me end, where I begun [32]. 22. Line 25: they: the souls of the poet and his lover; so: in such a way A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 23. Line 26: As stiff as the two legs of a compass. “ compasses ” here is a familiar emblem, another case of conceit, denoting constancy in change

17 If they be two, they are two so [22] As stiff twin compasses are two [23], Thy soul the fixed foot [24], makes no show To move, but doth [25], if th' other do [26]. And though it [27] in the centre sit, Yet when the other far doth roam, It leans, and hearkens [28] after it [29], And grows erect, as that [29] comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must Like the other foot [29], obliquely [30] run; Thy firmness makes my circle just [31], And makes me end, where I begun [32]. 24. the fixed foot: the foot of the compass that remains in the center A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 25. doth: moves

18 If they be two, they are two so [22] As stiff twin compasses are two [23], Thy soul the fixed foot [24], makes no show To move, but doth [25], if th' other do [26]. And though it [27] in the centre sit, Yet when the other far doth roam, It leans, and hearkens [28] after it [29], And grows erect, as that [29] comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must Like the other foot [29], obliquely [30] run; Thy firmness makes my circle just [31], And makes me end, where I begun [32]. 26. if th' other do: if the foot that draws the circle moves A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 27. it: the fixed foot 28. hearkens: leans to as if listening to attentively 29. it, that, the other foot: the foot of the compass that draws the circle

19 If they be two, they are two so [22] As stiff twin compasses are two [23], Thy soul the fixed foot [24], makes no show To move, but doth [25], if th' other do [26]. And though it [27] in the centre sit, Yet when the other far doth roam, It leans, and hearkens [28] after it [29], And grows erect, as that [29] comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must Like the other foot [29], obliquely [30] run; Thy firmness makes my circle just [31], And makes me end, where I begun [32]. 30. obliquely: slantingly A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning 31. just: complete 32. Line 36: And makes the complete circle. The circle is an emblem of perfection


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