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Thread: John Donne's Negative Love

  1. #1
    Happy Holidays
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    John Donne's Negative Love

    I am new on this forum because I need help in finding the meaning to this poem. John Donne generally writes relating to love and the death of his wife. I think this poem Negative Love could be related to working past this trauma but please if you have any ideas HELP ME!!!!! I am doing this for a class and I need to be able to tie in author's techniques with the overall meaning. THANKS!

    I never stoop'd so low, as they
    Which on an eye, cheeke, lip, can prey,
    Seldom to them, which soare no higher
    Then vertue or the minde to 'admire
    For sense, and understanding may
    Know, what gives fuell to their fire:
    My love, though silly, is more brave,
    For may I misse, when ere I crave,
    If I know yet, what I would have.

    If that be simply perfectest
    Which can by no way be exprest
    But Negatives, my love is so.
    To All, which all love, I say no.
    If any who deciphers best,
    What we know not, our selves, can know,
    Let him teach mee that nothing: This
    As yet my ease, and comfort is,
    Thous I speed not, I cannot misse.
    Last edited by midwest; 11-30-2004 at 08:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Who, ME? trismegistus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Mercy St.
    Well for technique stuff you should definitely mention his repetition of "negative" words to reinforce his idea. (e.g. no, never, nothing) More fun (and typical of Donne) is his associated word play with "know."

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    A talent I feel Donne has always flaunted, with good cause, of course, seems tying transcendental and metaphysical concepts in his poetry. Often he compares whichever singular topic he chose for a poem with nature, though not as much in this poem. Through many of his works, however, they either proceed in a progressive story-like manner, and/or conclude with a quotable moral: "Death, thou shalt die," for example.
    Welcome to the forum, by the way, midwest.

  4. #4
    Happy Holidays
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Thanks, this helped a lot actually. It is strange how after you have the aide of someone else you begin to understand things better, at least in my case. This one tripped me up a bit so thank you for moving me along

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