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John Donne's Works - Literature - Nairaland

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John Donne's Works by StarFire08(f): 8:09am On Jan 08
I've been doing some research on John Donne's work (metaphysical poetry) and it going well but there is this particular one that's giving me issues.
Extasie, I need to get the themes ,analysis on this particular one .Please anyone who can help me with it .Come to my rescue .
Re: John Donne's Works by StarFire08(f): 8:17am On Jan 08
Sanchez 01 Madjune
Re: John Donne's Works by Sanchez01: 8:21am On Jan 08
I am a huge fan of John Donne. As a matter of fact, metaphysical poets are about the only poets that exist in my world. Strangely, I have never read or studied 'Extasie' but the idea of the title, which is most likely to be from the original word 'ecstacy'. If you have a link to the poem online, kindly share a theme and I could assist before today runs out, if that's fine.
Re: John Donne's Works by StarFire08(f): 8:34am On Jan 08
Sanchez01:
I am a huge fan of John Donne. As a matter of fact, metaphysical poets are about the only poets that exist in my world. Strangely, I have never read or studied 'Extasie' but the idea of the title, which is most likely to be from the original word 'ecstacy'. If you have a link to the poem online, kindly share a theme and I could assist before today runs out, if that's fine.
I don't have the link . just pictures of the poem
Re: John Donne's Works by StarFire08(f): 8:45am On Jan 08
Sanchez01:
I am a huge fan of John Donne. As a matter of fact, metaphysical poets are about the only poets that exist in my world. Strangely, I have never read or studied 'Extasie' but the idea of the title, which is most likely to be from the original word 'ecstacy'. If you have a link to the poem online, kindly share a theme and I could assist before today runs out, if that's fine.
One of the themes-The ecstasy of love
Re: John Donne's Works by Sanchez01: 9:02am On Jan 08
StarFire08:

One of the themes-The ecstasy of love
Will look out for this.
Re: John Donne's Works by Sanchez01: 9:03am On Jan 08
StarFire08:

I don't have the link . just pictures of the poem
Please share. I am seeing 'The Ecstasy' online and it is a bit confusing. Please confirm if it is the same with this: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44099/the-ecstasy


Modified:

Just confirmed they are the same.
Re: John Donne's Works by StarFire08(f): 9:28am On Jan 08
Sanchez01:

Please share. I am seeing 'The Ecstasy' online and it is a bit confusing. Please confirm if it is the same with this: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44099/the-ecstasy


Modified:

Just confirmed they are the same.
Re: John Donne's Works by StarFire08(f): 9:28am On Jan 08
Sanchez01:

Please share. I am seeing 'The Ecstasy' online and it is a bit confusing. Please confirm if it is the same with this: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44099/the-ecstasy


Modified:

Just confirmed they are the same.
Yes
Re: John Donne's Works by Sanchez01: 9:20am On Jan 09
Hello, StarFire08. I promised I was going to get back with the analysis last night but I couldn't, no thanks to overworking. For that, I am sorry.

Anyways, I studied the poem already and it is not what it looks, going by the title (typical of metaphysical poets). So here is my analysis.

Analysis of John Donne's "The Ecstasy"

The word ‘ecstasy’: from the Greek ekstasis, ex stasis, literally ‘outside standing’ – i.e. standing outside of oneself, or apart from oneself. A truly ‘ecstatic’ experience is always, to some extent, an out-of-body experience (OBE). Thus, Donne's "The Ecstasy" is about the separation of the body and soul, which seems odd at first, since elsewhere his poetry explores the idea that the soul and the body are, in fact, one. Typically, the idea of ecstasy with metaphysical poets will most likely suggest a provocative, sensual body of work but Donne's deviation from that 'norm' seems odd, different and surprising at first glance.

Donne begins ‘The Ecstasy’ which runs into nineteen quatrains with a typically passionate scene as the backdrop for the lovers to embrace and experience the 'ecstasy'. The setting is natural, very calm and quiet. The scenery is described in erotic terms: the riverbank is "like a pillow on a bed"; it also is "pregnant". The reference to pillow, bed and pregnancy suggest sexuality, though the poet says that their love is 'asexual'. Indeed, the image of asexual reproduction of the violent plant is used to compare the lovers' only 'propagation'. It is springtime, and violets are in bloom. It is pastoral settings were lovers are sitting together, holding each other's hand and looking intently into each other's eyes. Their eyes meet and reflect the images of each other, and their sights are woven together. 

In the fourth and fifth stanzas, Donne tells us that, while their two bodies remain motionless there, like ‘statues’ as they sit holding hands on the bank, their two souls are in negotiations, like two, equal great armies. In the sixth and seventh stanzas, Donne says that if anyone had been nearby to hear their souls speaking to each other, he would have experienced an exchange of souls so pure and refined that he would have left richer than he was before.

Donne then says that hearing their souls speak to each other has made plain the nature of their feelings for each other: they didn’t know before, but their souls have made it plain. But Donne doesn’t want their souls to do all the talking: he wants to be joined in physical union (‘But O alas, so long, so far / Our bodies why do we forbear?’). Their souls being joined is all well and good, but to propagate and have children, their bodies need to come together too. ‘The Ecstasy’ thus turns into a poem of seduction and even, on one level, a 'carpe diem' or ‘seize the day’ poem:

'And if some lover, such as we,
Have heard this dialogue of one,
Let him still mark us, he shall see
Small change, when we’are to bodies gone.'


Such a conclusion chimes with another of Donne’s poems, ‘The Flea’, more than we might at first expect.


In making sense of the sexual connotations in the work, the suggestion of what happens when men and women join their bodies together (‘pregnant’) is transposed to the bank on which the lovers sit, while the word ‘breast’ lurks behind the lines without actually being spoken, thanks to the pressure of the ‘swell’d’ bank, the mention of the ‘head’ of the violet, and the rhyme of rest/best. It is almost as if Donne’s thoughts are already on the bodily and physical, even while he and his beloved sit there simply holding sweaty hands.

Donne tries to convey to the readers that the foundation of spiritual love is the physical attachment; the eyes serve as a gateway to the soul. Moreover, the physical union has produced an even stronger spiritual bond that is far more powerful than each individual's soul. Donne refers the violet to tell us that the fusion of the lover's soul produces a new "abler soul" like the violet, which doubles its vigor when it is grafted together with another. Then the lovers are now able to seek spiritual pleasure rather than purely physical pleasure. In this union, the two souls find strength like a violet when it is transplanted. As such, the single united soul is able to grow with new energy. The united soul is perfect, unchanging and also with new energy. The united soul is perfect, unchanging and also transcends the "defects of loneliness", or the single soul. The two lovers now understand that true love is the result of their physical attachment provoking spiritual union. Souls are spiritual beings. They move with the help of the bodies. The body is the medium of contact of the two souls. Therefore, the lovers turn to their bodies and try to understand the mystery of love. The body is the medium to experience love. So spirits must act through bodies. If love is to be free, it requires physical as well as spiritual outlets.

The persona proceeds to question why religious institutions have imposed blind thoughts diving the body and soul (most religion, particularly Christianity is of the opinion that man is a tripartite being, consisting of the body, soul and spirit). The poem is also a criticism of the conventional idea of love that supports the separation of the bodies, and hence the souls. He makes an appeal to his readers to nourish their souls through their bodies and reach towards the point of extreme joy, or 'ecstasy'.

As a metaphysical poem, ‘The Ecstasy’ brings together (or juxtaposes) opposites; Donne has also reconciled such opposites as the medieval and the modern, the spiritual and physical, the scientific or secular and the religious, the abstract and the concrete, the remote and the familiar, the ordinary and the metaphysical. This is largely done through imagery and conceit in which widely opposite concepts are brought together.

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Re: John Donne's Works by Ishilove(f): 11:35am On Jan 09
Sanchez01 the teacher?
Re: John Donne's Works by Sanchez01: 12:46pm On Jan 09
Ishilove:
Sanchez01 the teacher?
LMAO! cheesy

For the love of literature. smiley
Re: John Donne's Works by StarFire08(f): 12:21am On Jan 11
Sanchez01:
Hello, StarFire08. I promised I was going to get back with the analysis last night but I couldn't, no thanks to overworking. For that, I am sorry.

Anyways, I studied the poem already and it is not what it looks, going by the title (typical of metaphysical poets). So here is my analysis.

Analysis of John Donne's "The Ecstasy"

The word ‘ecstasy’: from the Greek ekstasis, ex stasis, literally ‘outside standing’ – i.e. standing outside of oneself, or apart from oneself. A truly ‘ecstatic’ experience is always, to some extent, an out-of-body experience (OBE). Thus, Donne's "The Ecstasy" is about the separation of the body and soul, which seems odd at first, since elsewhere his poetry explores the idea that the soul and the body are, in fact, one. Typically, the idea of ecstasy with metaphysical poets will most likely suggest a provocative, sensual body of work but Donne's deviation from that 'norm' seems odd, different and surprising at first glance.

Donne begins ‘The Ecstasy’ which runs into nineteen quatrains with a typically passionate scene as the backdrop for the lovers to embrace and experience the 'ecstasy'. The setting is natural, very calm and quiet. The scenery is described in erotic terms: the riverbank is "like a pillow on a bed"; it also is "pregnant". The reference to pillow, bed and pregnancy suggest sexuality, though the poet says that their love is 'asexual'. Indeed, the image of asexual reproduction of the violent plant is used to compare the lovers' only 'propagation'. It is springtime, and violets are in bloom. It is pastoral settings were lovers are sitting together, holding each other's hand and looking intently into each other's eyes. Their eyes meet and reflect the images of each other, and their sights are woven together. 

In the fourth and fifth stanzas, Donne tells us that, while their two bodies remain motionless there, like ‘statues’ as they sit holding hands on the bank, their two souls are in negotiations, like two, equal great armies. In the sixth and seventh stanzas, Donne says that if anyone had been nearby to hear their souls speaking to each other, he would have experienced an exchange of souls so pure and refined that he would have left richer than he was before.

Donne then says that hearing their souls speak to each other has made plain the nature of their feelings for each other: they didn’t know before, but their souls have made it plain. But Donne doesn’t want their souls to do all the talking: he wants to be joined in physical union (‘But O alas, so long, so far / Our bodies why do we forbear?’). Their souls being joined is all well and good, but to propagate and have children, their bodies need to come together too. ‘The Ecstasy’ thus turns into a poem of seduction and even, on one level, a 'carpe diem' or ‘seize the day’ poem:

'And if some lover, such as we,
Have heard this dialogue of one,
Let him still mark us, he shall see
Small change, when we’are to bodies gone.'


Such a conclusion chimes with another of Donne’s poems, ‘The Flea’, more than we might at first expect.


In making sense of the sexual connotations in the work, the suggestion of what happens when men and women join their bodies together (‘pregnant’) is transposed to the bank on which the lovers sit, while the word ‘breast’ lurks behind the lines without actually being spoken, thanks to the pressure of the ‘swell’d’ bank, the mention of the ‘head’ of the violet, and the rhyme of rest/best. It is almost as if Donne’s thoughts are already on the bodily and physical, even while he and his beloved sit there simply holding sweaty hands.

Donne tries to convey to the readers that the foundation of spiritual love is the physical attachment; the eyes serve as a gateway to the soul. Moreover, the physical union has produced an even stronger spiritual bond that is far more powerful than each individual's soul. Donne refers the violet to tell us that the fusion of the lover's soul produces a new "abler soul" like the violet, which doubles its vigor when it is grafted together with another. Then the lovers are now able to seek spiritual pleasure rather than purely physical pleasure. In this union, the two souls find strength like a violet when it is transplanted. As such, the single united soul is able to grow with new energy. The united soul is perfect, unchanging and also with new energy. The united soul is perfect, unchanging and also transcends the "defects of loneliness", or the single soul. The two lovers now understand that true love is the result of their physical attachment provoking spiritual union. Souls are spiritual beings. They move with the help of the bodies. The body is the medium of contact of the two souls. Therefore, the lovers turn to their bodies and try to understand the mystery of love. The body is the medium to experience love. So spirits must act through bodies. If love is to be free, it requires physical as well as spiritual outlets.

The persona proceeds to question why religious institutions have imposed blind thoughts diving the body and soul (most religion, particularly Christianity is of the opinion that man is a tripartite being, consisting of the body, soul and spirit). The poem is also a criticism of the conventional idea of love that supports the separation of the bodies, and hence the souls. He makes an appeal to his readers to nourish their souls through their bodies and reach towards the point of extreme joy, or 'ecstasy'.

As a metaphysical poem, ‘The Ecstasy’ brings together (or juxtaposes) opposites; Donne has also reconciled such opposites as the medieval and the modern, the spiritual and physical, the scientific or secular and the religious, the abstract and the concrete, the remote and the familiar, the ordinary and the metaphysical. This is largely done through imagery and conceit in which widely opposite concepts are brought together.
Thanks alot
Re: John Donne's Works by madjune: 8:17pm On Jan 13
StarFire08:
Sanchez 01
Madjune

How can I help you?

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