Реферат: Анализ стихотворения John Donne
A VALEDICTION FORBIDDINGMOURNING
by John Donne
ASvirtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
«Now his breath goes,» and some say, «No.»
So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
'Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.
Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears ;
Men reckon what it did, and meant ;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.
Dull sublunary lovers' love
—Whose soul is sense—cannot admit
Of absence, 'cause it doth remove
The thing which elemented it.
But we by a love so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assuredиd of themind,
Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.
Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.
If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do.
And though it in the centre sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.
Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like th' other foot, obliquely run ;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.
At the beginning of«A Valediction Forbidding Mourning,» the poet, John Donne, engages ina didactic lesson to show the parallel between a positive way to meet death anda positive way to separate from a lover. When a virtuous man dies, he whispersfor his soul to go while others await his parting. Such a man sets an examplefor lovers. The separation of the soul from the body, and the separation oflovers from each other, is not an ending but the beginning of a new cycle. Thepoem ends with the image of a circle, the symbol of perfection, representingthe union of souls in a love relationship. This perfection is attained byparting at the beginning of the circle and reuniting at the point where thecurves reconnect.
According to Helen Gardner, the metaphysical poemtakes the reader down a certain path, a fixed line of argumentation. Thisvalediction, an act of bidding farewell, proceeds in the guise of a monologuein which a speaker attempts to persuade a lover to remain faithful during hisabsence. The monologue is dramatic in the sense that the stay-behind lover isthe implied listener. Donne's monologue is unique because he uses metaphysicalcomparisons to show the union of the lovers during their period of separation.
Although the poem attempts to persuade the lover asan implied listener, it also speaks indirectly to the reader who is drawn intothe argument. The speaker's argument is supported by an implied reference tothe authority of Greek philosophers and astronomers. According to PatriciaPinka, this use of esteemed authority to justify a view about love is a commonunifying element throughout many of Donne's Songs and Sonnets.
It is probable that Donne wrote this poem for hiswife, Ann Donne, and gave it to her before leaving to go abroad in 1611. Ann,sick and pregnant at the time, protested being left behind as her husband begana European tour with his friend, Sir Robert Drury.
The poem begins with a metaphysical comparisonbetween virtuous dying men whispering to their souls to leave their bodies andtwo lovers saying goodbye before a journey. The poet says:
«Let us melt and make no noise…
'Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity of our love».
The word «melt» implies a change inphysical state. The bond of the lovers will dissolve quietly like the soul of adying man separating from his body. «Noise» refers to «tearfloods» and «sigh tempests» that the speaker implores his lovenot to release.
He continues by comparing natural phenomena to alove relationship, the «sigh tempests» relating to the element ofair, and the «tear floods» to the element of water. He uses thishyperbole to demand that his lover remain stoic and resist any show of emotionupon his departure.
Next, the element of earth is introduced.Earthquakes are perceived by everyone, and people often interpret them as omensof misfortune. It is understandable that an earthquake would be looked uponwith fear because of its potential to ravage the land; whereas a trepidationaffecting a celestial sphere would be viewed in a different light, especiallyone that is imperceptible and has no apparent meaning for the average person.
In order to understand the meaning of the thirdquatrain in the poem, it is necessary to consider the Ptolemaic Universe andthe symbolism of the sphere. During the Middle Ages and the Elizabethan Age,the circle and sphere were looked upon as perfect shapes. The main influencebehind that thinking may have been Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, whobelieved that since, «The motion of the celestial bodies is not straightand finite, but circular, invariable and eternal. So they themselves must beeternal, unalterable, divine».
The well-educated Donne, 1572-1631, certainlystudied famous Greek thinkers such as Aristotle and Ptolemy, and their viewsconcerning the universe. Donne lived during a time when many people acceptedthe Ptolemaic theory of the universe, which held that the spherical planetsorbited the earth in concentric circles called deferents. 2Writing this poem in 1611, Donnewould most likely be influenced by his previous classical studies, and he choseto use the circle and the sphere to represent a perfect relationship based onreason and harmony.
The «trepidation of the spheres» isanother obsolete astronomical theory, used to support the speaker's point thatgreat changes in the heavens may be imperceptible to the layman. The speakerpresents this comparison between the earthquake and the «trepidation ofthe spheres» to suggest that matters beyond one's control should beapproached rationally.
In quatrains four and five, the speaker urges hislove to remain stoic by making any change in their relationship asimperceptible to others as the «trepidation of the spheres,» andagain, he uses terms from astronomy to illustrate his point. The term«sublunary» refers to the surface below the moon. According to theGreek astronomers, this sublunary area, composed of the four elements, wasimperfect. The sphere's surface, composed of quinta essenta, the perfect part,radiates light and heat.
The dull sublunary lovers are imperfect humanbeings who do not practice mature love. The soul of their love is«sense», so they need physical contact to cement their relationship.However, the speaker suggests that reason can free itself from any connectionwith a sensory experience. Therefore, the lovers with fully developed souls«Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss», having developed rationalsouls, the third part of the Aristotelian model for the human soul, consistingof vegetative, sense and rational parts.
In quatrain six, Donne echoes the traditionalmarriage ceremony in which two become one, so the «two souls» of thelovers are joined together. He describes separation as a stretching exercise inwhich the joined soul of the lovers is gold beat to an «airythinness». According to Pinka, the comparison is «beautiful andpure» but «fragile» since there is «expansion withoutincrease». The «airy thinness» emphasizes the stretching of thelovers' resources, in that the love continues to exist, but its strength isweakened by the circumstances. He urges the lover to look at the separation ina positive light, but he sends out undertones suggesting that he is aware ofthe fragility of the situation.
The speaker then begins his closing argument, inwhich he changes his symbol of perfection from the sphere to the circle. Onemight argue that the circle and the sphere are slightly different objects andshould not be considered one and the same; however, the Ptolemaic Universeconsisted of both perfect spheres and perfect circular orbits, and so theconcept of circle and sphere both represented perfection. Poets and songwritershave often used sphere and circle symbolism.
In Dante Alighieri's Paradiso, a story of apilgrim journeying through Paradise, Dante sees nine concentric circles in theeyes of Beatrice, his guide. Beatrice explains to him that each of nine circlesrepresents an angelic order. The brightest circles are in the center nearest toGod and represent the highest order of angels and the greatest good. Accordingto Beatrice, each circle also corresponds to one of the nine spherical heavensconsisting of the five planets, the sun, the moon, the fixed stars, and thePrime Mover.
It does not seem unusual for Donne to include boththe sphere and the circle in his poetry as symbols of perfection, since otherwriters had linked the circle and the sphere together in various waysthroughout the history of science and literature.
The speaker in the poem is unique in that he doesnot compare the perfection of his love to a traditional object such as a rockor a fortress; instead he chooses to compare the twin legs of a compass to thelovers' sense of union during absence. Such a comparison would be calledmetaphysical according to Gardner, who states that a metaphysical conceit mustconcern two things so dissimilar that we «feel an incongruity». Here,the poet must then proceed to persuade the reader that these things are alikein spite of their apparent differences.
The speaker proves the point by drawing the circlewith the compass. The lover who stays behind is the fixed point, and thespeaker is the other leg of the instrument. Without the «firmness» ofthe fixed point, he would be unable to complete the journey and make the circlejust (precise). The adverb «obliquely» (l. 34) may have severaldifferent meanings. John Freccero supports the interpretation that obliquelymeans a spiral motion, referred to by the Neoplatonic tradition as a movementof the soul. Obliquely may also indicate a slant. Either the drawing instrumentcan be interpreted to move in a spiral, or the motion may refer to the secondfoot's tilted position in relation to the fixed one in the center. Such aposition would be required during the drawing of a circle.
According to Freccero, «No matter how farDonne roams his thoughts will revolve around his love… At the end of thecircle, body and soul are one». In Donne's «Valediction,» thehuman souls are described in the context of a joint soul that is stretched bythe separation, or two souls joined within a circle of spiritual strength.Donne once stated in an elegy, "...perfect motions are all circular."5The circle in the«Valediction» represents the journey during which two lovers endurethe trial of separation, as they support each other spiritually, and eventuallymerge in a physically and spiritually perfect union.
«Circle.» Hall's Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art.1979 ed.
Donne, John. «A Valediction Forbidding Mourning.»
John Donne. Frank Kermode, Ed.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Freccero, John. «Donne's „Valediction ForbiddingMourning.“
Essential Articles: John Donne's Poetry. Roberts, John, Ed.
Hamden, Connecticut: Archon, 1975. 279-304.
Gardner, Helen. „Introduction.“ The Metaphysical Poets.
Helen Gardner, Ed.
London: Penguin Group, 1985.
Pinka, Patricia. This Dialogue of One: The Songs and Sonnets of JohnDonne.
Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 1982.