Related Topics

John Donne Writing Styles in A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning

This Study Guide consists of approximately 25 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Valediction.
This section contains 144 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning Study Guide

Donne constructs "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" in nine four-line stanzas, called quatrains, using a four-beat, iambic tetrameter line. The rhyme scheme for each stanza is an alternating abab, and each stanza is grammatically self-contained. This simple form is uncharacteristic for Donne, who often invented elaborate stanzaic forms and rhyme schemes. Its simplicity, however, permits the reader more readily to follow the speaker's complicated argument.

The first two stanzas argue that the speaker and his love should separate quietly—as quietly as righteous men go to their deaths—because their love is sacred and should not be profaned by public emotional displays. The next three stanzas consider the holy nature of their love, contrasting it with ordinary lovers who base their relationship solely on sexual attraction. The final four stanzas imaginatively consider the ways in which the lovers' souls will remain joined even during their physical separation.

(read more from the Style section)

This section contains 144 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning Study Guide
Copyrights
Poetry for Students
A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.