John Donne Poetry: Contemporary References in The Good Morrow

This article provides a clear explanation of The Good Morrow based on the contemporary references which readers may be interested in. The Good Morrow is a classical example of John Donne Poetry possessing every element of a metaphysical poem. An effort has been made to keep the language simple yet serene. We’d highly appreciate if you take the extra effort to share your perspective about the poem in the comments section after you complete going through this piece of writing.

“The Good Morrow” by John Donne is a celebrated piece of poetry which many modern day readers can connect to because of the contemporary references cited in the poem. The thematic development of love in Good Morrow is such that we often fail to believe that it was written in the Elizabethan Age. The ideologies upheld by Donne and the arguments in favor of them are commendable contemporary references.

Love Elements of John Donne Poetry in The Good Morrow

The love that has been described in Good Morrow is a very modern one which has been achieved by the perfect marriage of the body and the soul. The poems which were being written during those times in accordance with the Petrarchan trends followed a highly refined convention of love which comes across as impractical to the modern minds as unfulfilment of love and its angst was the basic Elizabethan theme of love poetry. Good Morrow is in stark contrast to this ancient take on love as it crumbles the binarization of physical and platonic love by awarding post-coital love the state of heightened spirituality. He proved with the help of his logical thought progression and metaphysical wit that body and soul are the two faces of the same coin and they need to work as a “unified sensibility” as quoted by T.S. Eliot. He compared his past indulges in carnal love to “snorting” in the “seven sleeper’s den” and “weaning” on “country’s pleasures childishly” making material love immature and incomplete. This material love of his after being unified with its platonic counter-part by his beloved leads to a spiritual awakening – “Now Good Morrow to our waking souls”. It is worth noting that this “morrow” would not have arrived without the lovers’ physical union in the preceding night. This shows that the way to spiritual love is through material fulfillment and not through its dismissal as one is incomplete without the other. This train of thought which establishes a relationship between the body and the soul in Good Morrow is a vital contemporary instance.

Love as a Key Element in John Donne Poetry

The love which the poet and his beloved experience in the poem is based on the fundamentals of trust and assurance as it has conquered all fears. A basic characteristic of this love is the fact that it does not demand any sacrifice of one’s identity and individuality. “Each hath one and is one”. This combination of mutuality and individuality in love shown in the poem is another contemporary example.

Apart from this, the allusiveness of the poem also provides it with a very modern appeal. Parallels have been drawn from different fields of modern learning in the poem like Chemistry, Geography, Astronomy and so on owing to its status as a metaphysical poem which advocated heterogeneity of references. The Geographical reference – “Let Sea discoverers to new worlds have gone, Let maps to other worlds on worlds have shown” is to shed light upon the power of love to conquer vast physical spaces.

The language in the poem is very down to earth and colloquial which adds to the modernity of the poem.

Thus we see that because of its unique contemporary take on love, allusiveness and straight-forwardness of the language, “The Good Morrow” is considered as a famous John Donne Poetry and is awarded with a contemporary appeal and looked upon as a very modern poem written in not so modern times.

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