View Full Version : i want some explanation

05-19-2006, 03:38 PM
i want some expalantionhello every body,
i want expalantion of the donne's poem of "AIR AND ANGEL" is here any body who can help me

05-19-2006, 09:52 PM
Hello, shamal, welcome to the forum. :)
I, too, have always found 'Air And Angels' as one of John Donne's more difficult poems to read. Firstly, I will post a copy below:

Air And Angels

Twice or thrice had I loved thee,
Before I knew thy face or name;
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame,
Angels affect us oft, and worshipped be;
Still when, to where thou wert, I came,
Some lovely glorious nothing I did see.
But since my soul, whose child love is,
Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do,
More subtle than the parent is,
Love must not be, but take a body too;
And therefore what thou wert, and who,
I bid love ask, and now
That it assume thy body I allow,
And fix itself to thy lip, eye, and brow.

Whilst thus to ballast love I thought,
And so more steadily to have gone,
With wares which would sink admiration,
I saw I had love's pinnace overfraught
Every thy hair for love to work upon
Is much too much, some fitter must be sought;
For, nor in nothing, nor in things
Extreme and scatt'ring bright, can love inhere.
Then as an angel, face and wings
Of air, not pure as it, yet pure doth wear,
So thy love may be my love's sphere.
Just such disparity
As is 'twixt air and angel's purity,
'Twixt women's love and men's will ever be.
The first stanza, to say the least, states a lot to digest, and can sometimes make me feel a little overwhelmed. Obviously Donne placed a lot of effort into this poem. The first few lines merely express a love the poet had for someone who he hardly knew, and this may, indeed, involve his belief in angels, perhaps having a love for angels in statements like "So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame, / Angels affect us oft" and "Some lovely glorious nothing I did see." Donne then admits his own flesh form, in comparison to this thing he loves, something "shapeless," and furthermore confesses that he must love with his soul, yet only with his body attached. His mind and body connection's love, perhaps, not quite feeling 'superior' enough, in a way, he asks love to reveal what bodily shape an angel may reveal.
The second stanza, perhaps, refers to the love of an actual being. Donne found love as something beyond his perception, much like what he expresses about apparent angels. The lines "For, nor in nothing, nor in things / Extreme and scatt'ring bright, can love inhere" suggest that no being can fully feel nor express absolute love, stating that individuals in their flesh cannot 'inherit' the true love of which Donne shows great faith and reverence. Comparing the analogy of angels consisting of the purest air, therefore not visible, Donne finds the air not even as pure as love, and just as attainable to a human's limit, but not perceived like an object.
Hopefully this helped, and I would love to help more, if you have more questions. Surely, I also find this a very challenging poem, and encourage any further discussion. :)

05-20-2006, 06:43 AM
hello mono thank you very much yaar. i m very thankful to u.
sir,can u give me expalanation of henry howard's poem "PRISONED IN WINDSOR" only explanation. if u can, it will help me in preparing of my exam.

05-20-2006, 02:36 PM
Prisoned In Windsor

So cruel prison how could betide, alas,
As proud Windsor, where I in lust and joy,
With a Kinges son, my childish years did pass,
In greater feast than Priam's sons of Troy.
Where each sweet place returns a taste full sour.
The large green courts, where we were wont to hove,
With eyes cast up into the Maiden's tower,
And easy sighs, such as folk draw in love.
The stately seats, the ladies bright of hue.
The dances short, long tales of great delight;
With words and looks, that tigers could but rue;
Where each of us did plead the other's right.
The palme-play, where, despoiled for the game,
With dazed eyes oft we by gleams of love
Have miss'd the ball, and got sight of our dame,
To bait her eyes, which kept the leads above.
The gravel'd ground, with sleeves tied on the helm,
On foaming horse, with swords and friendly hearts;
With chere, as though one should another whelm,
Where we have fought, and chased oft with darts.
With silver drops the mead yet spread for ruth,
In active games of nimbleness and strength,
Where we did strain, trained with swarms of youth,
Our tender limbs, that yet shot up in length.
The secret groves, which oft we made resound
Of pleasant plaint, and of our ladies' praise;
Recording oft what grace each one had found,
What hope of speed, what dread of long delays.
The wild forest, the clothed holts with green;
With reins availed, and swift y-breathed horse,
With cry of hounds, and merry blasts between,
Where we did chase the fearful hart of force.
The void vales eke, that harbour'd us each night:
Wherewith, alas! reviveth in my breast
The sweet accord, such sleeps as yet delight;
The pleasant dreams, the quiet bed of rest;
The secret thoughts, imparted with such trust;
The wanton talk, the divers change of play;
The friendship sworn, each promise kept so just,
Wherewith we past the winter night away.
And with this thought the blood forsakes the face;
The tears berain my cheeks of deadly hue:
The which, as soon as sobbing sighs, alas!
Up-supped have, thus I my plaint renew:
'O place of bliss! renewer of my woes!
Give me account, where is my noble fere?
Whom in thy walls thou d[id]st each night enclose;
To other lief; but unto me most dear.'
Echo, alas! that doth my sorrow rue,
Returns thereto a hollow sound of plaint.
Thus I alone, where all my freedom grew,
In prison pine, with bondage and restraint:
And with remembrance of the greater grief,
To banish the less, I find my chief relief.
Hello, shamal.
This Henry Howard poem seems a little less complicated than most poetry by John Donne, but, also, in comparison, contains quite a bit more difficult Old English to understand.
The poem primarily consists of reminiscing of better times outside, as the poet allows his imagination to wander from his prison cell. How he refers to the "Kinges son," I think, and later refers to a possible death, toward the end of the poem, of someone, perhaps explains the reason for his residence in prison. The poet remembers the times of playing outside, dancing, tennis ("palme-play"), and riding horses. His reminiscing makes up most of the poem, until he abstractly describes the death of, who I think, the "Kinges son."
The poet admits his regret of the the death, but finds his relief in prison, away from the primary situation that called him there, admitting also, however, his dreary solitude and loneliness.

05-21-2006, 02:37 PM
thanks again mono

05-21-2006, 02:38 PM
beautifully explained Mono. Nothing to add