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    John Donne and Liz Lochhead: Poems about Love

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    The Sunne Rising by John Donne and Morning After by Liz Lochhead are both poems about love. They are both set in the morning but both poets express their love and affection in different ways.

    In The Sunne Rising the poet, John Donne uses a lot of personification he writes the poem directly to the sun as if the sun was a person. John Donne starts the first stanza by saying ‘Busy old fool, unruly Sun’ this implies that he is annoyed and angry at the sun for waking him and his lover up, he thinks that the sun is out of control by calling it ‘unruly’. He asks the sun ‘why dost thou thus’ he want to no why the sun wakes them up.

    The poet thinks the sun is cheeky and disagreeable and should leave them alone and go bother other people, ‘Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide’. The poet doesn’t want to start the day he doesn’t want time to pass he just wants to be with his lover,’ no season knows’, this signifies time passing. John Donne ends the first stanza on a sad note which again refers to time passing ‘Nor hours, days, months which are the rags of time’ he is saying that when you are in love it’s as if time doesn’t exist. The word ‘rags’ represent to me that time is worthless and that he doesn’t want to imagine time as a way of having to leave his lover because nothing is more important to him than her.

    In the second stanza the poet says ‘I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink’ and this means that if the poet were to shut his eyes the suns ‘reverend and strong’ rays would go away. He then goes on to say ‘ but that I would not lose her sight so long’, and this indicates that if he were to close his eyes it would be too long not to see his beautiful lover.

    The poet doesn’t want to be woken up early again tomorrow he tells the sun ‘look, and tomorrow and late tell me’. He wants to be left alone with ‘Indies of spice and mine’ which are the things that are precious and beautiful to him which personified by his lover. He also thinks that he and his lover are everything and nothing compares to them. I think this because the poet says ‘she’s all states, and all princes I’. In the last stanza the poet repeats the word ‘all’ which he implies means everything. He is trying to say that he and his lover are ‘all’ and nothing else matters, ‘nothing else is’.

    The poets’ attitude to the sun is very abrupt and he is very arrogant towards him. He thinks that every one should want to be like him including the sun itself, ‘all honours, all wealth alchemy’ The poet may think that the sun is jealous of them ‘thou, Sun, art half as happy as we’. At the end of the poem the poet says ‘in that the worlds contracted thus’ by this he means that the sun works for the world and he and his lover are the world ‘this bed thy centre is, there walls thy sphere’.

    ‘Morning After’ by liz Lochhead is set in the morning like ‘The sunne Rising’, but Liz Lochhead expresses her love differently to the way that John Donne does.

    ‘Morning After’ is about the poet and her lover lying in bed reading their Sunday morning newspapers. Unlike ‘The Sunne Rising’ there is tension between them ‘separate after all’. Maybe the title ‘Morning After’ gives us a clue that something had gone on the night before that now is causing tension between them.

    Unlike ‘The Sunne Rising’ where john Donne expresses his feelings and emotions towards the sun and about his lover, Liz Lochhead does not express any sign of emotions and therefore creates an uncomfortable atmosphere throughout the poem.

    ‘Morning After’ starts off by saying ‘Sad how Sunday morning finds us’ the tone is sad and means that she is upset how the day has begun ‘separate after all’. Where as in ‘The Sunne Rising’, John Donne is frustrated that the sun has woken him and his lover up. The poet says ‘side by side with nothing between us but the Sunday papers’ this implies that unlike the lovers in ‘The Sunne Rising’ there is nothing emotionally between them.

    The poet says that the Sunday papers are ‘held like screens before us’, they are acting like a barrier between them. The poet refers to herself and her lover as being like news papers, ‘Me the Mirror reflecting only on your closed profile You the Observer encompassing larger other issues.’ She referees to herself to ‘The Mirror’ which is a small tabloid paper which is normally gossip, maybe she is trying to tell us that she has herd gossip about her lover but he being ‘The Observer’ has ‘Other issues to think about and does not want to sort out their problems, As he is not interested in her and her gossip. She also says that her lover has a closed profile which tells us that he is not sharing any information.

    In line eleven the poet says ‘without looking up’-there is no contact between them this is very different to ‘The Sunne Rising’ where the poet is scared that if he shuts his eyes it would ‘lose her sight so long’.

    There is a cold atmosphere the poet says ‘I shiver while you flick too quickly, too causally through the pages, with too passing and interest’. Here the poet repeats the word ‘too’ to emphasize an uneasy atmosphere, whole Jon Donne repeats ‘all’ to emphasize that they are everything and nothing else matters.

    In ‘Morning After’ the poet says ‘too passing an interest’ this means that her lovers’ interest in thing does not last very long. Maybe the poets’ lover has lost interest in their relationship in the same way as he did with his newspaper.

    I prefer the poem ‘The Sunne Rising’ to ‘Morning After’ as ‘The Sunne Rising is a poem about a man who loves his girlfriend so much that he only thinks of her and that nothing else matters to him . He expresses his feelings more unlike in the ‘Morning After’ where the actions speak louder than words e.g. ‘held like screens before us’. I like the poem ‘The Sunne Rising’ as John Donne thinks that he and his lover are everything and not even the ‘rags if time’ should come between them.

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    John Donne and Liz Lochhead: Poems about Love. (2017, Oct 24). Retrieved from

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