Structure and versification in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

Short stanzas

One of the features that appear to make A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning a little easier is the short stanza form. Quatrains are not usual for Donne, especially if they are fairly regular iambic tetrameters, rhyming abab. Even more striking is the fact each stanza is a complete sentence – apart from the first, where the ‘as' of stanza one is picked up by the ‘so' of stanza two.

Investigating Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
  • What is the effect of the simple versification in A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning?
    • Does the poem have the same compactness about it that Donne's other poems do?
  • What to you are the strengths of this poem?
    • How well does it describe the universal phenomenon of lovers having to part from one another?
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