81 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2021
    1. hapax legomena ratio

      Number of words that occur only once within the text divided by the total number of word of the text.

      Similar with TTR, high HLR value indicates that the author uses vocabulary in a less repetitive manner.

    2. type-token ratio

      Number of words that appears at least once in the text divided by the total number of word of the text.

      If the value of TTR of the text is high. It indicates that the author uses vocabulary in a less repetitive manner.

    1. If ever any beauty I did see, Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.

      It's a clever reworking of Plato's cave allegory.

      The lover is presented as the Ideal of Beauty, which all earthly beauty is but an imperfect reflection of it. The previous mistresses that the speaker had a relationship with were mere fantasy(dream) of the lady that he is now in love with. It's a quite common conceit in Renaissance lyrics. However, the expression 'desired and got' is an original line of John Donne to refresh this overused cliché.


      1. Nassaar S., Plato in John Donne's 'The Good Morrow' (2003)
      2. Book: John Donne, The Complete English Poet (1971)
      3. https://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/cave.htm
    2. eye

      Illustration from WFlemming Illustration https://dribbble.com/shots/10832573-Love-Poems-The-Good-Morrow

    3. If our two loves be one, or, thou and I Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.

      The final threes lines imply the existence of a possible threat to their relationship. This transition to a slightly concerning tone contrasts with the preceding stanzas and lines full of affirmation and conviction. However, the cause of the slackening still does not belong to the world that the lovers have just awakened from, but it is within them. Unless the uniformity of the love of their relationship is disproportioned, their love is eternal.

    4. each hath one, and is one

      illustration by Ewa Wiktoria Malec

    5. sea-discoverers to new worlds

      The imagery of exploration and sea travel was a popular subject in the literature of the Elizabethan-Jacobean era. It was the Age of Discovery, and John Donne himself also had experience in sea travel. The heroic adventure stories of the people who fulfilled the Renaissance curiosity through their expedition were fascinating enough to stir the imagination of the writers of the time.

      Exploration is a process of understanding a wider world, but Speaker is no more interested in it since he has already found the perfect world in his little room with his lover.

    6. slacken

      To diminish in strength. To become slow and less active.

    7. Whatever dies, was not mixed equally

      In Galen's medicine, disease and death were the consequence of a disproportion in one's constituent elements, the 4 humors: black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm.

    8. Without sharp north, without declining west?

      Interpretation 1 Our love is not subjected to cold(bleakness) or time but is eternal.

      Interpretation 2 We do not need directional hints to explore the world since we can easily find the wholesome world just by looking at each other.

    9. sharp north

      bitter cold of winter

      In some copies the 'north' is written 'frost.'

      It can also be interpreted as the sharp compass pointing north.

    10. plain hearts

      The heart is an organ that does not lie. It truthfully presents the changes of emotion by beating up fast or slow. If the heart is seen on the face, the speaker is no more worried about reading his lover's mind (no more place for suspicion).

      It conveys the same message as the second line of the second stanza.

    11. hemispheres

      The eyes are the microcosm of the complete spherical sphere.

    12. declining west

      The direction of sunset (start of the cold night and time flow)

      Natural sign of direction.

    13. eye

      The another spherical image in the poem

      Each eye, which is able to be interpreted as each hemisphere, is really a perfect world because, though they are not combined into one, when facing each other, contains both lovers (the one who is reflected and one who reflects is in unity in the eye).

      Source: The Visual Paradigm of 'The Good-Morrow': Donne's Cosmographical Glasse (1986)

    14. little room

      The little room can be interpreted to be the poem itself. Since the literal meaning of the stanza is a little room. Through this poem, the lovers can build their small rooms everywhere, in any circumstances.

    15. Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one

      The one world either wants to possess is the world of the other and the possession makes them one.

      Due to the harmonious internal rhymes and confident tone of conviction, we might not sense the disturbance of the line at first. Nevertheless, as we look closely analyze the line, it is not as straightforward as it first seemed.

      Donne is exploiting the ambiguity of the word world to confuse the readers. The world can either mean the whole planet, earth, or the hemispheres that need to be combined from the spherical earth. Each of the lovers belongs (or themselves are) to each hemisphere, and they can possess a more wholesome world by uniting together. However, there is a dilemma in constructing full spherical earth: each hemisphere should face the opposite direction to form a sphere seamlessly. Though they are now one, they cannot meet each other anymore.

      However, this dilemma is somewhat resolved in the following stanza.


      1. Book: Redpath, The Songs and Sonnets of John Donne (1956)
      2. Book: John Donne, The Complete English Poet (1971)
    16. maps

      chart of the heavens

      In addition to sea and land exploration, astronomy was another interest of the intellectual of Donne's Era.

      Source: Redpath, The Songs and Sonnets of John Donne (1956)

    17. worlds

      Can be either interpreted as continents or celestial bodies.

    18. little room

      Donne is envisioning a small area as equivalent to a more enormous space. It's an example of microcosm that views human nature or a well balanced natural phenomena as an perfect example for understanding a bigger world and the order of the universe.

    19. souls

      Usually, in Christianity, the soul, psyche, is a superior state to a materialistic body. Here, the speaker is saying that Platonic love achieved by the lovers, through the incident last night, has awakened their souls and transcended them from worldly immature love to a higher spiritual state.

      However, in John Donne's other love poems, the sensational and sexual relationship is also emphasized, suggesting that love is not a static concept, but almost as complex as God, raising its multiplicity almost up to a level of deity. Love can be an experience of the body, the soul, or both; it can be a religious experience or merely a sensual one, and it can give rise to emotions ranging from ecstasy to despair.

      Source: https://www.lsj.org/literature/essays/donne

    20. good-morrow

      good morning

    21. fear

      fear for betrayal

      There is no more suspicion between the lovers, and only love is the guiding force of their relationship.

    22. den

      A cave where wild animals live.

      Another expression to demean the immature pleasures the speaker and the addressee once enjoyed.

      Also, the imagery of cave connects to the Plato's allegory of the cave which is the inspirational basis for line 6 and 7.

    23. Seven Sleepers’ den

      It's an allusion to a Christian legend about seven Christian youths who hid in a cave in hopes of avoiding the persecution of Decius in AD 249 in Ephesus. Eventually, they were caught, tortured and were walled up alive in the cave they once hid. However, miraculously, they did not die, slept for 187 years and were awaken in AD 479, a new world where Christianity became the major religion.

      Same imagery with the poem of waking up in a new world.

      Source : https://catholicsaints.info/seven-sleepers-of-ephesus/


      The Good-Morrow is an aubade, a love poem sung at dawn that greets the morning by recalling the pleasant night spent with the lover and the togetherness they shared while also lamenting as they realize that they should soon be parted.

      In The Good-Morrow the greeting aspect of aubade is particularly emphasized, celebrating the astonishing power of love that transcended them from individuals who dwelled on the unsophisticated pleasure to wholesome, perfectly balanced souls that are awakened in a new world.

      To read other examples of John Donne's aubade, see The Sunrising.

      Source: https://poets.org/glossary/aubade

    25. troth


      It can also be interpreted as a marital oath, implying that the previous night they spent together is not an ordinary one but a wedding night. The plausible addressee of this poem is Donne's wife , Anne More.

    26. weaned

      To start feeding food other than mother's breast milk.

      The speaker is supposing that everything that him and his lover did before they met and loved was infantile and immature.

    27. snorted


      It seems disrespectful to use a verb such as 'snored', which has lowly imagery, adjacent to a religious allusion. Maybe Donne was purposeful with this uncommon decision in order to diminish the power of religious interpretation and draw the readers' attention more onto the power of love itself.

    28. fancies be

      All pleasures the speaker and the lover experienced before there relationship was like mere pastimes, enjoyable but not as powerful and significant as they are experiencing now.

    29. For love, all love of other sights controls,

      'For love inhibits all desire to see other people or things.'

      Source: Redpath, The Songs and Sonnets of John Donne (1956)

    30. country

      A sexual overtone can be sensed here! It is an obscene pun playing with the similarity in pronunciation between the first syllables of the word and the slang for female genitalia, 'cunt'.

      This pun is also present in Shakespeare's Hamlet, when Hamlet to innocent Ophelia says, 'Do you think I meant country matters?'

      Pun: a humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more of its meanings or the meaning of another word similar in sound. (definition from Merriam Webster)

      Source: Book: John Donne, The Complete English Poet (1971)

    31. sucked on country pleasures

      In the 17th century, it was common to send infants of affluent families to the countryside to be wet-nursed. It is an unneglectable process necessary for the infant's growth, but also a sign of immaturity that the babies should once graduate to proceed to the next step of development.

      Rustic and simple-minded pleasure compared to the ones enjoyed in the Court or City (probably London where John wrote many of his love poems in Lincoln's Inn).

    1. The Good-Morrow has a basic iambic pentameter template, that is, there are five regular beats and ten syllables in each line except for the last line of each stanza which has twelve, so count as hexameters.

      But there are odd exceptions here and there - some lines with an extra beat for example (11 syllables), others with trochees, spondees and anapaests, which alter rhythm and so bring added interest for the reader.

      John Donne was famous for not completely yielding to the formality of poetry that was high valued during his time.

      Source: Owlcation https://owlcation.com/humanities/Analysis-of-Poem-The-Good-Morrow-by-John-Donne

    2. ?

      Rhetorical Question

    3. ?

      Four consecutive rhetorical questions.

    4. Rhyme scheme for The Good-Morrow is A B A B C C C, and it's persistent throughout every seven-line stanzas.

      We can sense a slight transition in tones or subject between the quatrain(ABAB) and tercet(CCC).

      In the first stanza, the quatrain is composed of a list of rhetorical questions, while the tercet isn't. Oppositely, in the second stanza, the tercet is grouped with anaphora, while the quatrain isn't. Finally, in the third stanza, the last three lines incorporate a slightly concerning tone compared to the preceding lines and the rest of the poem, implying transition.

    5. ?

      Caesura: rhythmical pause in a poetic line or a sentence. It often occurs in the middle of a line, or sometimes at the beginning and the end. Mostly noted with punctuation.

      It's up to the readers to rather pause on every Caesura, or ignore some to develop an orignal way of reading the poem.

      Source: Literary Device https://literarydevices.net/caesura/

    6. W

      Alliteration of W

    7. Without

      Anaphora using repetition of "Without"

    8. w

      Alliteration of 'W'

    9. worlds

      Repetition of 'World(s)', creating an Internal rhyme

    10. The poem is rich with assonance, consonance, and alliteration which creates a uniformity and. The speaker’s enthusiasm and joy come through in the poem’s play of sound.

      Source: Lit Chart

    11. Assonance: the repetition of similar vowel sounds takes place in two or more words in proximity to each other within a line of poetry or prose.

      Consonance: The repetition of the same consonant sounds in a line of text.

      In this annotated page, assonance and consonance are not color coded or annotated. It would be too messy to include all the literary devices in single space.

      But still be aware that there are overwhelming quantities of assonance and consonance that all add up to the rich auditory experience of the poem.

      Source: Literary Device

    12. For love, all love

      Internal rhyme through repetition of "love"

    13. Were we not weaned

      Alliteration of 'W'

      Alliteration is a literary device that reflects repetition in two or more nearby words of initial consonant sounds

      Source: https://literarydevices.net/alliteration/

    14. snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’

      Alliteration of 'S'

    15. John Donne

      John Donne is known to be a "coterie poet" who wrote poems for small groups of people of his acquaintance. The strategy of reading the poem might vary according to the audience. The tone and voice used to read it to Anne More(Donne's beloved wife) would differ from how it was read in front of his friends and patrons.

      Possible Tones

      • Exuberant
      • Introspective
      • Philosophical
    16. in thine eye, thine in mine
      • Chiasmus of 'in' and 'thine'
      • Internal rhyme of 'thine' and 'mine'

      Chiasmus: Repetition of any group of verse elements (including rhyme and grammatical structure) in reverse order

      Source: Poetry Foundation https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/chiasmus


      Illustration by MIKKI LEE

      The Good-Morrow is an aubade, which is a dawn love song. It's the wholesome moment in the morning that this song is sung. How about reading as if the speaker has just woken up from the bed and is whispering directly to the lover's ears with a subtle and gentle physical touch.

    18. thou and I

      In symmetry with the very first line of the poem.

      Again the verb, 'Love,' is separated from the subject, 'Thou and I' through enjambment. By highlighting the words "thou and I," it again emphasizes that the lovers are the core subject of this poem.

      Source: Lit Chart https://www.litcharts.com/poetry/john-donne/the-good-morrow

    19. thou and I

      In symmetry with the second to last line of the third stanza.

      This enjambment separates the verb, 'Did,' from the subject, 'Thou and I,' as if the speaker is distinguish them from the immature past who are now awaken from it.

      Source: Lit Chart https://www.litcharts.com/poetry/john-donne/the-good-morrow

    20. I Did

      Enjambment : The running-over of a sentence or phrase from one poetic line to the next, without terminal punctuation; the opposite of end-stopped.

      Source: Poetry foundation https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/enjambment


      It's written in conversational style, however the voice of the addressee is deliberately silenced that it almost make the poem feels like a soliloquy. This type of figure of speech is called apostrophe.

    22. I

      The unusually frequent use of slant rhyme (4 in total) in a relatively short poem might be a sign of purposeful errors that John Donne makes to implicitly express the excitement and satisfaction that the speaker is experiencing that he doesn't bother about strictly keeping the formality.

    23. I Love


    24. see, Which


    25. Let

      Anaphora using "Let...(to)"

      Anaphora is a rhetorical device that features repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive sentences, phrases, or clauses. Anaphora works as a literary device to allow writers to convey, emphasize, and reinforce meaning.

      Source: https://literarydevices.net/anaphora/

    26. The poem contains four slant rhymes, which is an imperfect rhyme with similar, but not identical sounds. Most slant rhymes are formed by words with identical consonants and different vowels, or vice versa.

      lines 1 and 3 - "I" and "childishly"

      lines 9 and 11 - “fear” and “everywhere”

      lines 12 to14 - “gone,” “shown” and “one”

      lines 19 to 21 - “equally,” “I,” and “die”

    27. Just a reminder that during John Donne's time period certain English words were pronounced slightly different from modern pronunciation, So the rhyme scheme might sometime not match the modern accent. (There is no specific example in this poem)

  2. Sep 2021
    1. And thus invoke us

      A change in perspective can be witnessed in this final stanza. From the first line of the first stanza to the fourth stanza, we can observe the narrator's aggressive and defensive manner against his interlocutor, who seemed to rebuke the narrator's love relationship prior to the composition of this poem. Also, it is spoken in either simultaneous (present) or prospective (future) manner in terms of tenses. However, the final stanza introduces a partially retrospective speech (referencing past events), distinguishing itself from the preceding stanzas. Also, it seems unlikely that the narrator is requesting his deprecating interlocutor to call him "You, whom reverend love .... eyes" (last stanza line 1-7). Thus, we can logically suggest that there has been a shift in addressee, and the possible addressee of the final stanza would be the future lovers who perceive John Donne and his lover as saints of love.

    2. Though, the poem is written in conversational style, the characters other than the narrator are deliberately silenced to give a sense of a dramatic monologue by the speaker.

    3. With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve,                 Take you a course, get you a place,                 Observe his honor, or his grace, Or the king’s real, or his stampèd face

      These are exactly what John Donne had lost after his improvident marriage with Anne More; wealth, education, social standing, and post at the Parliament. Maybe Donne is ironically showing his slight feeling of reluctance through this conversation with the silent addressee.

    4. Contemplate

      Word "Contemplate" in this line is a good example of how setting a persistent stress pattern might interfere the smooth conversational flow throughout poem. Contemplate is a three syllabus word (con/tem/plate). If it's read in iambic metric manner, (con/TEM/plate), it would sound very unnatural compared to its original stress pattern of CON/tem/plate. Thus, readers sometimes might want to intentionally break some of the major pattern employed by the poet to create more sensible way of reading the poem.

    5. die and rise the same

      Though The Canonization can be separated from his "earlier poems that reflect more generally to erotic encounters," John Donne still uses some sexual allusions to show his wit and connection of this poem to his early reputation as an ingenious erotic poet.

      Here, following words can be interpreted as below. Die - Orgasm

      Rise - Erection

      Die and Rise - Copulation

      Source: Source: Hadfield. Andrew. John Donne : In the Shadow of Religion, 2021, p132

    6. Final lines of every stanza is a trimeter, which seems relatively shorter than the preceding lines of penta- and tetrameter. This differentiation creates an unusual and unexpected rhythms and draws readers attention to this final line, which contains the major (sole) motive of author for writing this poem, love.

    7. The Canonization

      The Canonization is reckoned to be written by John Donne after the secret marriage with Ann Donne (in 1601, when Ann was 17 and John was 29), since it defiantly celebrated his marriage.

      Source: Hadfield. Andrew. John Donne : In the Shadow of Religion, 2021, p21

    8. whom

      Anaphora using "whom" and "who"

    9. Countries, towns, courts

      Alliteration of "C"

    10. whole world’s

      Alliteration of "W"

    11. chide

      Chiding an innocent person with physical unattractiveness is an act of demeaning oneself. Also, the "ruined fortune" is not due to one's extravagance but caused by inevitable outer forces. The author seems to approve his physical shortcomings, however, is also implicitly rebuking the provoker's imprudence and wasteful usage of his or her time in trivial (only materialistic) matters.

    12. die and rise

      Internal rhyme of long "I" vowel

    13. love

      The first and the final lines of every stanza ends in "love"

    14. Call us what you will, we are made such by love;          Call her one, me another fly,

      Anaphora using "Call - "

    15. Take you a course, get you a place,                 Observe his honor, or his grace

      Anaphora using "you a - " and "his - "

    16. well a well-wrought urn

      Alliteration of "W"

    17. We can die by it, if not live by love,          And if unfit for tombs and hearse Our legend be, it will be fit for verse;

      The short "I" vowel frequently appears in these lines creating an internal rhyme(assonance) between "it", "if", "fit", and "unfit."

    18. Rhyme scheme of The Canonization is A B B A C C C A A, and it's persistent throughout every stanza.

      The first stanza, for example, follows A B B A C C C A A rhyme scheme with the each alphabet representing a rhyme as below:

      A: -ove

      B: -out

      C: -ace

      To modern readers, the terminal sound of "love" and, "improve" (or "approve") doesn't seem to rhyme. However,"-ove" during John Donne's time period was pronounced slightly different from modern pronunciation. It was more similar to pronunciation of "-oave," which allowed them to rhyme!

    19. Metric pattern of The Canonization is:

      • Pentameter

      • Tetrameter

      • Pentameter

      • Pentameter

      • Tetrameter

      • Tetrameter

      • Pentameter

      • Tetrameter

      • Trimeter

        However, this pattern is not strictly kept throughout the poem. Since this poem is written in a conversational style between the speaker and his unknown (unseen) provoker, a certain degree of flexibility is accepted to make the poem sound like a natural conversation. For the same reason, there isn't a universal stress pattern in this poem. (Though one might read it in a iambic (da/DUM) rhythm, it would sound very unnatural in some line)

    20. tapers too

      Alliteration of "T"

    21. fortune flout

      This is a exmaple of Alliteration, a "repetition of a consonant sound, usually at the beginning of words in close proximity." It is a rhythmical tool that poets use to "underscore key words and ideas."

      Source: Responding to Literature, Richard Abcarian et al