John Donne - went to prison b/c he married his boss's daughter who was a minor. Drifted around afterwards. Supported writing through patronage. Greatest metaphysical poet.
The Ecstasy - comes from ek stasis - Greek for
" Stand (stasis) outside (ek) ."
I put in a long definition of ecstasy, but there are 2 basic meanings present in the text.
You're transported outside of yourself
Every 4 lines = 1 stanza. 1st stanza
Lines 2-3 ~ enjambment (where a sentence carries over from one line to the next without any punctuation.Where, like a pillow on a bed,
A Pregnant banke swel'd up, to rest
The violets reclining head,
Sat we two, one anothers best.
"Pregnant banke swel'd up"= they're sitting on a small hill or on a bank by a stream. The fact that its swelling makes him think of it as pregnant. We begin to see what's on his mind.
"cimented / With a fast balme = hands are sweatyOur hands were firmly cimented
With a fast balme, which thence did spring,
Our eye-beams twisted, and did thred
Our eyes, upon one double string;
Lines 11-12 ~ "Pictures" has two meanings hereSo to'entergraft our hands, as yet
Was all the meanes to make us one,
And pictures in our eyes to get
Was all our propagation.
13-20 - souls are outside their bodies negotiating like 2 armies. Their bodies meanwhile are motionless.
21-24 Only the person refined by love could understand the language they speak to each other in those silent moments.
31-32 - sex involves motion, so what they have is something else, an unmoving emotion. That which moves is generally inferior to that which doesn't. God is sometimes called "The Unmoved Mover," making him superior to everything.
Trying to decide what to do ~ love or not ~ lasts all day.
The poem shifts tone here. He's tired of "forbearing," of not having sex. He sees a dual nature of man - body & soul. My soul is the real "me," but my body is how I interact with the world.But O alas, so long, so farre
Our bodies why doe wee forbeare?
They'are ours, though they'are not wee; Wee are
The intelligences, they the spheare.
We owe them thankes, because they thus,
Did us, to us, at first convay,
Yeelded their forces, sense, to us,
Nor are drosse to us, but allay.
On man heavens influence workes not so,
But that it first imprints the ayre,
Soe soule into the soule may flow,
Though it to body first repaire.
If our souls are to get together, they must do so through our bodies. IT'S TIME TO INTERACT!0
Can only have new people through sex. A person's body & spirit are united at conception.As our blood labours to beget
Spirits, as like soules as it can,
Because such fingers need to knit
That subtle knot, which makes us man:
So must pure lovers soules descend
T'affections, and to faculties,
Which sense may reach and apprehend,
Else a great Prince in prison lies.
"Great Prince in prison" The soul without the body is unable to interact with the world & therefore in prison.
"To'our bodies turne wee then" = time to interact!To'our bodies turne wee then, that so
Weake men on love reveal'd may looke;
Loves mysteries in soules doe grow,
But yet the body is his booke.
And if some lover, such as wee,
Have heard this dialogue of one,
Let him still marke us, he shall see
Small change, when we'are to bodies gone.
Love grows in the soul, but is written on the book of the body.
The passerby who was able to understand their communion won't see much
difference when they "are to bodies gone." The image is of one watching
while they make love.