Analysis of John Donne's poem "The Canonization"

Essay by butigurlHigh School, 12th grade November 2006

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The poem "The Canonization" written by John Donne is about love. Throughout this poem Donne reveals both concepts of physical love and spiritual love. The words that Donne has chosen in this poem are an example of a poetic technique that not only allows the reader to understand the speaker, but also be able to see images based on his word choice about the different aspects of love.

In the first stanza the opening line is "For God's sake, hold your tongue, and let me love!" This line shows the importance of love to the speaker in this poem when he demands to let him love. The speaker also refers to the physical aspects of himself in lines two and three " my palsy or my gout, My five gray hairs", which gives the reader an image of an older person. The first three lines show that true love is powerful, that it is not based on physical attributes, and that love is timeless.

Unlike the artificial love that the speaker refers to in line seven as the "[king's] stamped face".

The third stanza represents the uncertainty that people face while they are falling in love. This particular stanza is mostly rhetorical questions about his feelings. For example in lines eleven through thirteen says, "What merchant ships have my sighs drowned? Who says my tears have overflowed his ground? When did my colds a forward spring remove?" These lines speak of his possible sadness and risk of heartache by falling in love. While at the end of this stanza the speaker answers all of his own questions with the statement "Though she and I do love." in line eighteen. Meaning that regardless of the bad things in life that could happen the speaker and his lover will love...