Synopsis of The Extasie

The Extasie is one of Donne's best known and most important love poems, and has been widely discussed and analysed by various critics. It is certainly a poem you should know and understand, since it deals fully with Donne's metaphysics of human love. It is also one of the longest of his love poems, and you need to see how the argument is structured.

In an ecstatic state

This does not mean it is just a philosophical poem. Far from it. The word ‘ecstasy' means a very heightened experience so that you feel almost out-of-body, which is presumably why the name was given to the drug. True ecstasy does not need to be drug-induced, however, and Donne describes fully the ecstatic state he experienced through true love, just as another metaphysical poet, Richard Crashaw, describes spiritual or religious ecstasy in his Hymn to St Teresa.

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