Metaphysical poets, selected poems Contents
- Donne, John
- John Donne's early life
- John Donne - from Catholic to Protestant
- John Donne's marriage and its aftermath
- John Donne - The Reverend Dean
- Herbert, George
- Crashaw, Richard
- Vaughan, Henry
- Marvell, Andrew
- King, Henry
- Lovelace, Richard
- Cowley, Abraham
- Philips, Katherine
- Cleveland, John
- Social / political context
- Religious / philosophical context
- Literary context: ideas and innovations
- Aire and Angels
- A Hymn to God the Father
- A Hymn to God, my God, in my Sicknesse
- A Nocturnall upon St. Lucies day
- At the Round Earth's Imagin'd Corners
- A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Synopsis of Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Commentary on Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Language and tone in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Structure and versification in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Imagery and symbolism in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Themes in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- A Valediction: of Weeping
- Batter my heart
- Death be not Proud
- Elegie XIX: Going to Bed
- Elegie XVI: On his Mistris
- Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward
- Lovers' Infiniteness
- Oh my blacke Soule!
- Satyre III: 'On Religion'
- Show me Deare Christ
- Since She Whom I Lov'd
- Song: Goe, and catche a falling starre
- The Anniversarie
- The Dreame
- The Extasie
- The Flea
- The Good-morrow
- The Sunne Rising
- This is my playes last scene
- Twicknam Garden
- What if this present
- Affliction I
- Easter Wings
- Jordan I
- Jordan II
- Love II
- Prayer I
- The Church-floore
- The Collar
- Hymn in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
- Hymn to St Teresa
- St Mary Magdalene, or the Weeper
- To the Countesse of Denbigh
- Ascension - Hymn
- The Night
- The Retreate
- The Water-fall
- A Dialogue between Soul and Body
- On a Drop of Dew
- The Coronet
- The Definition of Love
- The Garden
- The Mower Against Gardens
- The Mower to the Glo-Worms
- The Mower's Song
- The Nymph Complaining for the Death of her Faun
- The Picture of Little T.C. in a Prospect of Flowers
- To his Coy Mistress
- Upon Appleton House, to my Lord Fairfax
Structure and versification in The Sunne Rising
Unusual stanza form
Both the stanza form and the metre of The Sunne Rising are complicated, but in the rush of the dramatic rhythms, we hardly notice at first. Ten-line stanzas are unusual; the rhyming scheme even more so: abba cdcd ee. The sentence structures run very closely with this rhyme scheme, so in fact, each stanza is firmly controlled. The final couplets are iambic pentameters, often used in satiric verse, and there is both that tone of satire and the note of finality that a good clinching couplet gives us.
Long and short lines
The overall stanza pattern of the poem seems to be Donne's invention. The mixture of longer and shorter lines is used dramatically. The short second line, for example, allows him to say:
‘Nothing else is' and the whole re-enacts the point. This IS the whole line.
- Can you see how Donne's overall argument is structured?
- How is each stanza used as a step in that argument?
- Try reading the poem out loud.
- Where do you want to be emphatic?
- Where do you want to read more quickly?
- Where do you want to read more softly?
Although much of the metre is iambic, the first foot inversion is needed by Donne for the effect of his speaking voice, as in the opening stanza's ‘Busy', ‘Why', ‘Must', ‘Sawcy' and ‘Love'. There are extra spondees for emphasis, too, as in the list in l.10, or ‘Nóthing élse ís' (l.22), the short second line here being rhythmically quite different from the dimeters of the second lines of stanzas 1 and 2.
- Donne is often praised for the quality of his ‘speaking voice'
- What do you understand by this?
- Can you find examples of it?
- Overall, what strike you as the most memorable aspects of this poem?
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