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

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. Read the rest of this entry

A Very Short Biography of Christina Rossetti

An introduction to Rossetti’s life and work

Christina Rossetti (1830-94) was one of the Victorian era’s greatest and most influential poets, along with Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, and Algernon Charles Swinburne. In this post we offer a very short biography of Christina Rossetti, taking in the most curious and interesting aspects of her life and work.

Rossetti was the younger sister (by two years) of the Pre-Raphaelite artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Christina Rossetti was born in London in 1830, and lived with her mother virtually all of her life. She never married. Next to a biography of her brother Dante Gabriel, the biography of Christina Rossetti can seem tame by comparison; but her work is curious and idiosyncratic and raises interesting questions about how much it reflects her own life and her own beliefs. Read the rest of this entry

Five Fascinating Facts about Philip Larkin

Interesting facts from Larkin’s life

1. Philip Larkin wrote a number of stories featuring girls at boarding school. While he was completing his English degree at St John’s College, Oxford in 1943, Larkin started writing stories and poems – and even a whole novella, Trouble at Willow Gables – under the pseudonym Brunette Coleman. The stories very much parody girls’ boarding-school stories of the time, which Larkin considered too flat and passionless when it came to treating the awakening of romantic and erotic feelings (specifically, homoerotic feelings) in adolescent girls. Read the rest of this entry

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