Wednesday, June 29, 2011
John Donne (1572 1631) was a metaphysical lyrical poet famous for his use of the metaphysical conceit: a strange and interesting comparison between two subjects when they, in fact, have very little in common at all. These comparisons are so outrageous that in doing so, Donne's poetry could almost be considered metaphysical humor.' A classic example of Donne's work, "The Flea" (1633), shares much of the style and banter of "Song: Go, and Catch a Falling Star". In "The Flea", Donne attempts to persuade a woman to make love with him by describing a bedbug that had bitten them both, and then comparing that insect to a wedding bed. In Donne's argument, because their blood was consequently mingling within the insect, was that they were already unified in a symbolic sanguine marriage, and so the physical act of love between them now would be of little consequence to the woman's principles. This same sense of humor, the one that made John Donne such a historical poet, is what a reader would find in Donne's "Song: Go, and Catch a Falling Star."