The Good-Morrow by John Donne: Analysis

The Good-Morrow, by John Donne, chiefly deals with a love that advances further from lusty love to the spiritual love. In the poem, the speaker at first regrets his early life, spending as meaningless as the seven sleepers of Ephesus spent in the den. He praises the true and selfless love of his beloved and claims that after being one in love, they are now actually awakened, physically and spiritually.

John Donne (1572-1631)

They do not need to be fearful of the loss of their love because their love has crossed all the boundaries and there is no hemisphere to separate them. Their love has now become immortal and not even the death can detach them.

The time of John Donne was the time of new discoveries of seas and lands. The expansion of the world map is given higher priority in each and every subject. But, the poet here gives a prime focus on the true love of the couple. For the speaker of the poem, the physical world means nothing, let the discoveries of the seas. For him the whole world has come into his life in the form of his beloved being platonic love. The metaphysics of the poem are strengthened by creating parallel between astronomy and geography in the second stanza. In the last stanza, when the poet talks about the dividing hemispheres of the world, he also adds the fact that the true love knows no boundaries and there is no cold hemisphere and no western hemisphere where the warm and shining sun has to set every day. By forcefully bringing these two ideas of physical world and the spiritual world of love together, the poet again depicts his powerful use of conceit (extended metaphor).

By the end of the poem, Donne simply puts his notion of immortality of pure love through the medieval alchemy. When two different things are merged, then the strength of the newly made substance is weakened. But, the strength of the love between the speaker and his beloved is absolutely strong as it is bond of two pure souls. There is no threat at all about decreasing of their love. Their love has achieved the immortality now.

These forceful comparisons between his love and the astronomy, geography and medieval alchemy is the strength of John Donne in this poem. He has successfully and surprisingly connects those two far fetches ideas in his poem The Good Morrow. Some critics argue that the way Donne shows the two sensuous lovers evolving into a spiritual pair of lover is impossible. Those who are lost in lust cannot think of love above the flesh and spiritual bondage.

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Shrestha, Roma. "The Good-Morrow by John Donne: Analysis." BachelorandMaster, 28 Feb. 2018,