John Donne Essay, Research Paper
True love is something hard to find. Some people doubt if it even exists. Throughout time people have been forever searching for that perfect soul mate to spend the rest of their life with. John Donne and the musical band Foreigner are both artists who have put their thoughts for their quest of true love into words. John Donne expresses his search in time in his poem, ?The Canonization? and Foreigner does so in their song, ? I Want To Know What Love Is.?
In John Donne?s poem ?The Canonization? there is a speaker telling someone about the disbeliefs of the capability of finding true love. That over time the same outcome will happen in a relationship. Perhaps Donne himself is struggling mentally with the idea of getting too caught up in a relationship because of previous bad experiences he has had with love. So he has set up this poem as a warning to convey his feelings and concerns that no relationship is capable of working. Donne believes that it is impossible for couples to be in a relationship where people are faithful and can be trusted. He feels that anyone who thinks that they have found that one perfect person has been fooled.
In the first stanza of the poem he says how he should not have to hide the feelings that he is having. He should be allowed to love exactly how he is and he shouldn?t be afraid of being in love with someone. His heart should be free and not held down. Donne goes on and in the next stanza he starts off by saying,
? Alas, alas, who?s injured by my love?
What merchant?s ships have my sighs drowned?
Who says my tears have overflowed his ground?
When did the hearts which my veins fill
Add one more to the plauguy bill?
Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
Litigious men, which quarrels move,
Though she and I do love (51).?
There Donne is expressing his real concerns with love in the first line of that stanza. He goes on and looks at how he has been hurt long-ago and he has wept but got over it. He thought it was true love and he is afraid to ever experience that hurt he was caused by love ever again. But he still has a hope that he will get over his pain and what he has found again will be true love.
In the 3rd stanza Donne starts to realize again that the love he has found will have the same fate as it always has had. He has to find a way to know if it is true love he is experiencing. They are made by love and may be different. Line 22 reads, ? And we in us find th? eagle and the dove (51).? Donne uses the eagle, the bird of prey, and the dove the symbol for love in this line to communicate that there may be differences between them. But he then goes on and says,
? By us: we two being one, are it.
So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit,
We die and rise the same, and prove
Mysterious by this love (51).?
This being said shows how they compliment each other and act as one. They rise and fall together and this proves their love. Which answers his question if this could be true love.
In the fourth stanza Donne is becoming less fearful of the love he is experiencing coming to an end. He says, ? And if no piece of chronicle we prove,We?ll build in sonnets pretty rooms;(51).? Meaning that no matter what the memories that have built in his mind and heart will last throughout history until his death. The next lines then say,
?As well a well wrought urn becomes
The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs;
And by these hymns,all shall approve
Us canonized for love:?
Here the urn can be thought as a symbol of his mind. It will be forever preserving the ashes, which can be thought of as his feelings of love. Even if the love dies it is forever canonized as a sacred memory, which he can always look back on. So with this realization his fear of the love dying is lessened.
Finally in the last stanza Donne conveys that the love has ended. How it once was happiness and is now turned into rage. He questions why anyone could ever dare fall in love when the outcome is always the same. The last line reiterates this feeling, ?A pattern of your love.? That no matter what, the conclusion will always be that the love was not true because it is always just a cycle in time where the fairy tale never has a happy ending. Donne has successfully used the passage of time to convey his feeling on love and relationships.
The song ? I want to Know What Love Is? by foreigner is very similar to John Donnes? poem. It can be interpreted as someone searching for true love and doubting whether or not they can ever find genuine happiness. This song starts out similar to Donnes? poem by saying,
?Gotta take a little time
A little time to think things over
I better read between the lines
In case I need it when I’m older
This mountain I must climb
Feels like the world upon my shoulders
Through the clouds I see love shine
It keeps me warm as life grows colder
1-In my life there’s been heartache and pain
I don’t know if I can face it again
Can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far
To change this lonely life
The artist is questioning whether or not it is possible to find true love. He has gone over every obstacle and experienced so much hurt and pain in past relationships that he completely doubts the idea of ever finding authentic happiness. He has spent so much time in his life looking for love that he doesn?t believe if it even exists. Time passes by and he doesn?t know if he can deal with the heartache that he has lived through. He is afraid to face his feelings but he is still afraid to be lonely. He is in search of love but when he finds it he questions if it is real. In the next portion of the song the artist has the same revelation as Donne. The verse is,
2-I ? I want to know what love is
I want you to show me
I want to feel what love is
I know you can show me?
Just as Donne had found love so has this artist. He has found someone to love but is still questioning if this could be true. His fear is being lessened but it is still there.
Finally the song concludes with these following lines,
?I’m gonna take a little time
A little time to look around me
I’ve got nowhere left to hide
It looks like true love has finally found me?
I will fear no longer
love will only make my heart grow stronger.
And if love will break my soul
The memories left are worth that toll.?
The artist is saying that he has finally put his fears aside and let love take him in and consume his heart. He has given in and love has finally found him. Also similar to Donne he isn?t afraid of losing that love anymore because he realizes that the memories are worth the heartache that could occur. However unlike Donne?s poem this song ends with the idea that the person searching has found true love.