Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Where dinner chat will lead you ...

For those of you who liked my previous entry, The Circle, I thought I would provide this link, as well, for much of the imagery in John Donne's A VALEDICTION: FORBIDDING MOURNING was borrowed for my piece. In fact, some of the phrases remain the same.

I feel sorta ridiculous comparing something that I wrote to the Donne poem, but there are intentional and unintentional parallels to it throughout my essay.

At dinner last night, a discussion of the poem and its influence led to me re-reading it alongside "The Circle," and it proved an interesting comparison, though the subjects are completely different.

This is completely pretentious, I realize, but I thought I'd give everyone interested the opportunity to juxtapose them, as well.

So, if you've never done yourself the favor of reading it, here's the Donne:

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say
The breath goes now, 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
Absence, because it doth remove
Those things which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refined
That our selves know not what it is,
Inter-assur'd of the mind,
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 fixed 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.

-- John Donne

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