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Poem: The Good Morrow By John Donne Summary And Analysis

Poem: The Good Morrow By John Donne Summary And Analysis; This poem is necessary for students who are sitting for the following examinations and should be studied so as to stand a chance of passing the exams. JAMB, WAEC, NECO, GCE.


The Good Morrow By John Donne.

I wonder by my troth, what thou and I

Did, till we loved? Were we not wean’d till then?

But suck’d 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.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,

Which watch not one another out of fear;

For love all love of other sights controls,

And makes one little room an everywhere.

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone;

Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown;

Let us possess one world; each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,

And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;

Where can we find two better hemispheres

Without sharp north, without declining west?

Whatever dies, was not mix’d equally;

If our two loves be one, or thou and I

Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die


Love’s Awakening and Persistence:

True love is one of Donne’s most expressed ideas in “The Good Morrow.” Its love celebration provides intense and unparalleled pleasure.

All of the joys that the two lovers had before they met pale in comparison to the joy they had together. Love is so powerful that the persona describes it as a soul awakening. Their love is perfect and spiritual in the sense that it transcends all worldly conceptions of emotion to a more spiritual realm, converting romantic and erotic love into a religious, even holy, experience. That their love is a union of souls, not just bodies.

Furthermore, the lovers’ love for one another grants them immortality: “none can die,” the poet declares in line 21 of the poem. Immortality is seen as a reward not only for devoted religious faith but also for romantic love. According to “The Good Morrow,” erotic love leads to the same devotion, insight, and immortality that religion promises. Poem: The Good Morrow By John Donne Summary And Analysis

Maturity and growth

This is a recurring theme in Donne’s The Good Morrow. We see this at the beginning of the poem when the persona situates his loved ones and his own lives before they began their erotic relationship. He tells the story of a weaning child who has childishly sucked on county pleasures. However, the poet makes a transition in the second and third stanzas, where his loved one has transmitted from the realm of innocence that childhood.

The obvious movement in the poem from childhood to maturity, on the other hand, aids in lifting the persona and his lover from ignorance to awareness of being in love with someone who also loves him.

presents into the stage of life that adulthood denotes

The Vanity and Futility of Life

“The Good Morrow” was written during the Age of Discovery, a period of intense European sea exploration that lasted from roughly the 15th to the 17th centuries. In this light, stanzas two and three of the poem tell of “sea-discoverers,” “new worlds,” “maps,” and “hemispheres,” in which the poet persona compares these discoveries to the pleasures of love and discovers the latter to be more powerful and exciting than the formal that is futile. He considers the time and resources spent on the pleasure of love to be a waste of time and resources. Lines 10-13 are engraved with this concept. The poet persona is so taken with love that he proposes withdrawing from the world to devote himself entirely to it. Rather than seeking adventure, the speaker advises the lovers to “make one little room everywhere.” For them to create their own world in which to explore.

Specifically, in the second stanza, the poet’s persona suggests that his lovers forego worldly ambitions by staying in bed and gazing into each other’s eyes, which is a more tangible experience than the other pleasures of life, which are vanity.


Dramatic Monologue:

When a one-sided conversation is delivered in poetry, even if there is a listener, the individual being addressed does not usually respond to the poetic persona. In Donne’s The Good Morrow, the poet persona addresses his love, musing aloud about their lives before they met and commenting on the state of their existence now that they have met. The poet persona is clearly addressing someone in all of his conversations, but no one responds.

Diction: Words like ‘troth,’ ‘thou,’ ‘tease,’ ‘thine and twas’ are used in Donne’s The Good Morrow to align with the poem’s time setting, which is in the seventeenth century. The poem’s use of words is highly metaphorical; for example, ‘weaned’ means childcare,’ seven sleepers sent’ means history,’sea-discoveries’ means travel and exploration,’ sharp north’ means geography, and so on. The poem’s use of language also incorporates ideas from philosophy, theology, and alchemy. A metaphysical poem’s ability to unite thoughts and words from various walks of life is one of its distinguishing features.

Metaphor: The Good Morrow by John Donne “There is a lot of use of extended metaphor. As a metaphysical poem, the usual metaphorical comparison of very unlikely things is, of course, unique. The use of the word ‘weaned’ in the first lines of the poem indicates that the poet’s persona compares his lover’s and his own lives prior to meeting as meaningless and fruitless. The expression ‘waking soul’ is used in line 8 as an extended metaphor to denote that the love they now share has awakened reality and the world around them.

In addition, in line 14, the poet’s persona tells his lover, “Let us have one world; each of us has one and is one.’ He compares the worlds to their bodies here.

 In addition, in line 14, the poet’s persona tells his lover, “let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.” He compares the worlds to their bodies, implying that if they truly love each other, their bodies can merge into one.


When two or more words in a line have the same vowel sounds:

sucked on country…

Seven Sleepers’ den…

all love of other…

tine in mine…

true plain hearts do..


When two or more words in close proximity begin with the same consonant:

were we not weaned…

snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’…

Which watch not…


John Donne’s sonnet “The Good Morrow” describes a state of perfect love between the speaker and his lover. The speaker begins the poem by remarking that his and his lover’s lives did not truly begin until they met. They were like children suckling from their mothers’ breasts before they met. He realizes now that any pleasure he previously experienced was a sham. His current love is the only true love he has ever known.

In the following stanza, he describes how their love cannot fail because it controls everything he sees. His entire life revolves around it, so he has no reason to want anything outside of their small bedroom. The speaker concludes the poem by saying that their love is balanced, just like a healthy body. Nothing can go wrong because their emotional and physical states are so inextricably linked.


  1. What is an analysis of the third stanza of “The Good Morrow”?

2. What are the themes in “The Good Morrow”?

3. What are the figures of speech that Donne uses in “The Good Morrow”?

4. What geographical references does John Donne make in “The Good Morrow”?

5. What is the meaning of “snorted,” as used by Donne in line 4 of the first verse?

6. In what year or era was ‘The Good Morrow’ by John Donne written?

7. What kind of imagery does Donne use in the first stanza to describe life before the two loves met?

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