A Short Analysis of John Donne’s ‘The Good-Morrow’

An enjoyable and illuminating breakdown of one of the most loving and memorable love poems by the undoubted master of the art, whose verses span the centuries without a hint of staleness or decay

Interesting Literature

A reading of a classic Donne poem

‘I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I / Did, till we loved?’ With these frank and informal words, John Donne (1572-1631) begins one of his most remarkable poems, a poem often associated – as is much of Donne’s work – with the Metaphysical ‘school’ of English poets. But what is ‘The Good-Morrow’ actually about? In this post, we offer some notes towards an analysis of Donne’s ‘The Good-Morrow’ in terms of its language, meaning, and themes.

I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.

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