Commentary on Twicknam Garden

The first stanza

Photo by Colin Smith, available through Creative CommonsDonne comes to this lovely estate or country park in the spring, looking for consolation. But rather than allowing nature to console him, he finds his misery is transforming nature. He is projecting his misery on to it.

The second stanza

It would have been a lot better if he had come in winter, when it would have been as desolate as he is now. As it is, the trees seem to mock him. He appeals to Love to turn him into one of the stone fountains or some other inanimate object or some low form of plant life.

The third stanza

If he became a fountain, then the water that came from him, his tears as it were, would become the test of truth for all lovers' tears. Tears in women, he suggests, are false, as are most other features of women. The one exception is, unfortunately, his mistress, who is totally sincere in her rejection of him.

Investigating Twicknam Garden
  • Who is Donne addressing in the poem?
    • Do you think the poem really is as sexist as it sounds, or this apparent sexism part of a wider joke?
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