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The Good-morrow -- John Donne

Guest poem sent in by Victoria Field
(Poem #1168) The Good-morrow
 I wonder by my troth, what thou and I
 Did, till we lov'd? 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 desir'd, 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 do slacken, none can die.
-- John Donne
This is going back quite a way but, the 1949 movie of 'The Blue Lagoon'
(starring a young Jean Simmonds and considered risque at the time), features
a reading of 'The Good Morrow' by John Donne - surely one of the most
exquisite and subtle love poems of all time.

Victoria

[Martin adds]

Langdon Smith's "Evolution" [Poem #550] strikes me as a perfect reply to the
opening lines of the poem. "Good morrow to our waking souls" also contrasts
amusingly with "Busy old fool, unruly Sun" :)

Links:

http://eir.library.utoronto.ca/rpo/display/poem655.html has some notes on
the poem

180 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Mallika Chellappa said...

I am struck by the poem's unusual structure - 21
instead of the usual 14 lines, although it has the
standard meter of a sonnet. Also
compare to "My true love has my heart and I have his"
by Philip Sidney. (Not in Minstrels yet!)

BTW that's "Jean Simmons". She was known for her
adventurous spirit, and was divorced by her husband
Stewart Granger, for appearing in the buff in "Spartacus".

Mallika

Thow Xin Wei said...

Actually, it's not a sonnet, it's an Aubade - a "morning song". The
Iambic pentameter is just that - five iambs in a line.

Incidentally the lines "if ever any beauty I did see,/ Which I desir'd,
and got, 'twas but a dream of thee" always reminded me of that pop song
that goes "I knew I loved you before I met you". Prefer the former =P

xinwei

User said...

I Know this might sound stupid but when was this poem actually written?

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Anonymous said...

Good Morrow As an Aubade?(upload the question...with ans)

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