View Full Version : The sun rising by John Donne

Albus Dumbledore
10-07-2007, 05:17 AM

10-07-2007, 07:17 AM
strange he berates the sun for disturbing his early morning love-in, but by verse 3 is beseeching the sun to stay..? and what does line 11 mean..?...characteristic Donne: brilliant articulation of utterly shallow thought

10-07-2007, 10:43 PM
Has anyone in here read John Donne's poem 'The Sun Rising'? If so, what did you think of it? I think it is a really beautiful love poem.

Is the sun a symbol for an intruder, maybe another person that the speaker of the poem feels threatened from? Could that be the conceit of the poem? Any opinions?

I am fond of John Donne's poems a lot. I have gone through his poems and they are the metaphysical type, and they are really interesting but somewhere I find there is dilution, perversion, kind of sexually perverted, and at times I feel writers and poets have kind of obsessions with perversions.

Overall his poems are touchingly penetrating. I read them every so often.

10-08-2007, 12:34 AM

BUSY old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us ?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run ?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school-boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices ;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

Thy beams so reverend, and strong
Why shouldst thou think ?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long.
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and to-morrow late tell me,
Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou left'st them, or lie here with me.
Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear, "All here in one bed lay."

She's all states, and all princes I ;
Nothing else is ;
Princes do but play us ; compared to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,
In that the world's contracted thus ;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ;
This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.

by John Donne

10-08-2007, 12:39 AM
I must differ from those who see conciet or shallow concepts here in this John Donne poem. To me he describes an under-appreciated astonomical event which gives ultimate perspective. quasi

10-08-2007, 07:50 AM
Donne wrote his love poems for a small circle of buddies; they enjoyed reading each other's sophisticated divertissements..here Donne is recreating the scene in bed c.7am as the sun shines through the window..disturbing that delicious comfort and pleasure you feel when snuggled up with your loved one. The literary conceit is that if the sun wishes to circle the world to warm it, it should stay here as D's loved one and him ARE the whole world...

The Triple Fool
01-06-2008, 06:05 PM
This is a sassy sort of poem, one in which Donne shows how very, almost arrogantly, in love he is with his lady.

The sun is not necessarily a symbol for an intruder, but is seen by the speaker as an intruder in and of itself. The speaker insults the sun, calling it an old fool and a pedantic wretch, also saying that it would be better off chiding lazy school boys than waking the two lovers. (Yes, the speaker is in bed with his lover.)

In verse three, the speaker isn't really beseeching the sun to stay, so much as he is telling the sun that its job is to warm the world. "Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere" means that if the sun shines on the lovers, it is shining on the entire world contracted into one room, the room in which the lovers are awakening.

Line 11 and 12 go together, for the speaker is asking, in inverted word order, why the sun should think its beams so reverend and powerful when the speaker could simply snuff them out by closing his eyes.

To respond to "blazeofglory," I don't believe sexual imagery in poems is innately perverse. Donne's love is complete, emotionally and physically. That he should fetter his physical love in verse is no perversion, but rather an art. In my opinion, though some of his poems are rather adult in content, the perversion occurs when the circumstances surrounding a poem are misunderstood by a reader.

I agree with "nebish" as to the main conceit of the poem. I don't believe the poem is merely an astronomical account by any means. It is a sophisticated commentary on emotions that occur when you are jostled from nearly-divine pleasure.

05-19-2009, 03:16 AM
I definitely admire the tone, the cheeky almost arrogant nature of him mocking the sun.
However, I admire his logical set up of arguments, as he describes all the other ways the sun should be using its time.
I take the sun to merely show how the lovers are not interested in worldly, day to day occurrences, and show how they are encapsulated in their own world.
Combined with comparing his lover to the radiating sun, makes for a very lyrical poem.

It is a sophisticated commentary on emotions that occur when you are jostled from nearly-divine pleasure.
Couldn't have put it better myself. :)