Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Goodbyes, No Tears

I want to share my paraphrase on John Donne's A Valediction: Forbidding Morning that I wrote for ENGL 251. Here is a link to the original poem. I'd love some feedback. Let me know what you think.

Good men die so gently that their friends are not even sure if they have gone. Just like their souls part quietly from their body, let’s be mild in our parting, not dramatic so as to show off our love. Crying and raging would profane all the joys of our love. Earthquakes are dramatic and give people cause for concern, but by contrast the motion of the spheres surrounding the earth, even though much greater, goes mostly unnoticed.

Lovers of this world possess a love that is created out of tangible togetherness and their five senses, and so their love cannot permit their being apart because it is created out of being together, but our love is so sure and faithful in the mind that it doesn’t matter if we’re physically separated.

Our souls are like one soul, so when we’re apart, it’s like one soul expanding, not two breaking apart, much like gold when beaten, flattens really thin but doesn’t break. Even if our souls are two separate entities, you are like the side of a compass that stands still in the center while I, as the other side of the compass, draw a circle around you. You attend to my movements while I must go away and circle you, but by staying where you are, you draw me back to you.


  1. Actually, I think that is a top notch summary of the famous poem. Two suggestions: 1) use the blockquote feature to set apart the paraphrase that you introduce; 2) give a link to (or even the full text of) the original poem for easy comparison.

    I wanted to know what you felt the value of doing such a paraphrase is.

  2. I wrote a comment on this post earlier, before this assignment was turned but apparently I didn't push post or something :) Thank you, Bri, for putting yours up. Doing my own, I wasn't exactly sure what was expected, so after doing mine I came to yours to do a little comparison. Looking at yours gave me a little more faith in myself and I really enjoyed reading someone else's ideas. Thanks again!