The Sun Rising Poem By John Donne Summary and Analysis

the sun rising

  “ The Sun Rising ” Summary


Hey sun, you old, disruptive busybody, why are you shining past the windows and closed curtains to pay an uninvited visit to me and my girlfriend? Do dog lovers need to structure their schedules around your movements across the sky? You rude, inflexible, and insensitive jerk, go scold boys who are late to high school and apprentices who are sulky about their early morning. Go tell the king’s hunting party that the king is close to last out on a search, and urge lowly farmworkers to start their harvesting duties. Love, altogether its forms, is above the influence of seasons and weather. it’s also above the influence of hours, days, and months, which, unlike love, wear out like old rags as time passes.


Why do you have to think your beams are so worshipped and strong? I could block them out by closing my eyes, except that I would not want to prevent watching my lover that long. Assuming that her eyes aren’t so bright that they’ve blinded yours, go check, and tomorrow evening tell me whether both the Malay Archipelago and West Indies are where you left them, or whether or not they are right here next to me. Ask to ascertain the kings you saw yesterday, and you’ll hear that they’re all lying here during this bed.


My lover is every country, and that I am every prince. Nothing else exists. Princes only pretend to be us; compared to our love, all honor may be a cheap copy, and every one wealth may be a futile plan to attain riches. You, sun, should be half as glad as we are that the entire world fits here within the bedroom. Your adulthood demands that you simply take it easy. Because your job is to stay the planet warm, you’ll do your job by keeping us warm. By shining here on us, you’ll shine everywhere; this bed is your center, and therefore the bedroom walls are the surface boundaries of the system.


the sun rising

“ The Sun Rising ” Analysis


“The Sunne Rising” may be a 30-line poem in three stanzas, written with the poet/lover because of the speaker. The meter is irregular, starting from two to 6 stresses per line in no fixed pattern. The longest lines are generally at the top of the three stanzas, but Donne’s focus here isn’t on perfect regularity. The rhyme, however, never varies, each stanza running abbacdcdee. The poet’s tone is mocking and railing because it addresses the sun, covering an undercurrent of desperate, maybe even obsessive love and grandiose ideas of what his lover is.


The poet personifies the sun as a “busy old fool” (line 1). He asks why it’s shining in and disturbing “us” (4), who appear to be two lovers in bed. The sun is peeking through the curtains of the window of their bedroom, signaling the morning and therefore the end of their time together. The speaker is annoyed, wishing that the day has not yet come (compare Juliet’s assurances that it’s never the morning, in Romeo and Juliet III.v). The poet then suggests that the sun explode and do other things instead of disturbing them, like getting to tell the court huntsman that it’s each day for the king to hunt, or to awaken ants, or to rush late schoolboys and apprentices to their duties. The poet wants to understand why it’s that “to thy motions lovers’ seasons run” (4). He imagines a world of desires one, where the embraces of lovers aren’t relegated only to the night, but that love can make their own time as they see fit.


In the second stanza the poet continues to mock the sun, saying that its “beams so reverend and strong” are nothing compared to the facility and glory of their love. He boasts that he “could eclipse and cloud them [the sunbeams] with a wink.” during a way this is often true; he can cut out the sun from his view by closing his eyes. Yet, the lover doesn’t want to “lose her sight so long” as a wink would take. The poet is emphasizing that the sun has no real power over what he and his lover do, while he’s the one who chooses to permit the sun in because by it he can see his lover’s beauty.


The lover then moves on to loftier claims. “If her eyes haven’t blinded thine” (13) implies that his beloved’s eyes are brighter than sunlight. This was a typical Renaissance love-poem convention (compare Shakespeare “My mistress’ eyes are nothing just like the sun” in Sonnet 130) to proclaim his beloved’s loveliness. Indeed, the sun should “tell me/Whether both the Indias of spice and mine/Be where thou left them, or lie here with me.” Here, Donne lists wondrous and exotic places (the Indias are the West and the Malay Archipelagodocumented in Donne’s time for his or her spices and precious metals) and says that his mistress is all of these things: “All here in one bed lay” (20). “She’s all states, and every one prince I”(21). That is, all the gorgeous and sovereign things within the world, which the sun meets because it travels the planet every day, are combined in his mistress.


This is a monstrous, bold comparison, a hyperbole of the very best order. As usual, such an extreme comparison leads us to ascertain a spiritual metaphor within the poem. As strong because the sun’s light is, it pales as compared to the spiritual light that shines from the divine and which brings man to like the divine.


The strange process of reducing the whole world to the bed of the lovers reaches its zenith within the last stanza: “In that the world’s contracted thus” (26). Indeed, the sun needn’t leave the room; by shining on them “thou art everywhere” (29). the ultimate line contains a play on the Ptolemaic astronomical concept the world was the middle of the universe, with the Sun rotating around the Earth: “This bed thy center is, these walls, thy sphere.” Here Donne again gives ultimate universal importance to the lovers, making all the physical world around them subject to them.


This poem gives voice to the sensation of lovers that they’re outside of your time which their emotions are the foremost important things within the world. there’s something of the adolescent melodrama of old flame here, which again suggests that Donne is exercising his intelligence and subtlety to form a special quite point. While the love between himself and his lover could seem divine, metaphorically it is often true that divine love is more important than the items of this world.


The conflation of the world into the body of his beloved may be a little harder to know. Donne wouldn’t be the primary man who likened his female lover to a field to be sown by him, or a rustic to be ruled by him. Yet, if she represents the planet because God loves the planet, is Donne putting himself, because the one who loves, within the position of God?


What we will say with some firmness is that the sun, which marks the passage of earthly time, is rejected as an authority. The “seasons” of lovers (with the pun on the seasons of the world, also ruled by the sun) shouldn’t be ruled by the movements of the sun. There should be nothing above the whims and desires of lovers, as they feel, and on the spiritual level the sun is simply another creation of God; all time and physical laws are subject to God.


That the sun, of course, won’t heed a man’s insults and orders is tacitly acknowledged. it’ll continue on its way every day, and one cannot wink it out of existence. there’s nothing that the poet can do to vary the movements of the sun or the approaching of the day, regardless of how clever his comparisons.


From his perspective, the entire world is true there with him, yet he knows that his perspective is restricted. This conceit of railing against the sun and denying the truth of the planet outside the bedroom closes the poem with a more heartfelt (and more believable) assertion that the “bed thy center is.” It is often imagined that here he’s speaking more to himself, realizing that the time he has together with his lover is more important to him than anything in his life during this moment, even while the spiritual meaning of the poem extends to the sun’s relatively weak power compared with the cosmic forces of the divine.

The Sun Rising  The Sun Rising  The Sun Rising  The Sun Rising  The Sun Rising