In the poems “The Sun Rising,” “The Good Morrow,” and “The Canonization,” John Donne emphasizes on the power of the lovers’ unity, which is identified through his idiosyncratic style. Donne accomplishes this through his diction, and the effective use of imagery and structure throughout these poems.

In “The Sun Rising,” Donne conveys to the reader that this unity, attained by these lovers, is all encompassing; including the whole world which the speaker says is in the lovers’ room, with their bed and unity at the core of this world (lines 28-30). Similarly, in “The Good Morrow,” Donne informs his audience of how the world of the speaker in this poem, is in his “little room” (line 11), unlike the all encompassing one in the other poem, is perfect, without the imperfectness of the real world like “sharp north” (line 18). Then there is “The Canonization,” where Donne includes the point of unity among the lovers, but uses it rather to argue for the point that they deserve to be sanctified for this incredible unity. In all three of these poems, Donne creates a progression from “bad” to “good.”

In “The Sun Rising,” as the title suggests, Donne starts out using early dawn, which is bad for the speaker because he has to wakeup since the sun is bugging the lovers with his overwhelming appearance “Through windows, and through curtains,” and as the poem continues, the reference is made to morning, and the second and third stanzas refer to the bright part of day. Likewise, in “The Good Morrow,” Donne refers to the sun yet again, but this time it is not as blatantly stated. In the first stanza he starts with the time before dawn, alluding to how they “snorted … in the seven sleepers’ den.” Stanza two refers to dawn, from early to late. And then the third stanza refers to the time after dawn and into midday. Quite to the contrary, in “The Canonization,” there is no such allusion to the sun, but it does start out with “bad” connotations, and ends up with positive ones by stanza five.

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Donne’s diction was very effective throughout these works. In “The Sun Rising,” he starts out using harsh cacophonous words like “old fool” to show that the speaker is annoyed by the sun, and wants it to go away. Similarly, he introduces “The Canonization,” with harsh words because he wants to emphasize that love is above all and it knows no boundaries, since it is eternal. But, on the other hand Donne introduces “The Good Morrow,” with less harsh words. This is probably done to reveal to the speaker is not furious at the fact that they were sleeping as the world went by, and maybe because Donne wants to establish the point that the speaker feels comfortable in this time of day, sleeping.

Donne says that the unity of the lovers in these poems is so powerful that it includes the whole world around it. In “The Sun Rising,” Donne refers to “both the ‘Indias of spice and mine,” as means to allude to the “whole” world (according to his time when India was in the east with the spices, and the New World in the west that had a lot of gold). Similarly, in “The Good Morrow,” he supports this theme by repeating the word world, several times in the second half of the second stanza. He also supports the theme in line 15, where he states that the lovers’ eyes represent a perfect world when put together. Donne does this with “The Canonization,” mostly in the fifth stanza, when he says, “Countries, towns, courts.” The structure in these three poems is mostly similar, except for the beginning of “The Good Morrow.”

This is how Donne proves the theme of lovers’ unity and its relationship with the world, using Diction, Imagery and Structure.


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