The Broken Heart A Poem By John Donne

902 words - 4 pages

Being a human being comes with several feelings and experiences that shape who we are, some favourable and beneficial some shattering and distressing, one of the most common is that of love, Love is the single most celebrated human emotion, though nevertheless love can end in heartbreak. A broken heart can be considered a painful empty feeling or the writhing of the soul. The Urban Dictionary defines a broken heart as ‘the feeling of complete devastation, and extreme sadness after a break-up of a relationship or loss of a spouse/relative.’ Throughout history, a vast body of literature examines its influences and explores its meanings. Typically, poets and authors examine love's countless ...view middle of the document...

In his best poems, Donne commixes the discourses of the physical and the spiritual; over the course of his lifetime, Donne gave sublime expression to both worlds. John Donne was born into a catholic family in 1572, during a strong anti-Catholic period. Throughout Donne’s life he wrote poems renouncing his anti-Catholic faith. In 1615 he converted to Anglicanism and was appointed Royal Chaplin. His elaborate metaphors, religious symbolism and flair for drama soon established him as a thriving preacher. In 1617 Donne’s wife Anne Moore died shortly after giving birth to their twelfth child. It is believed that Donne was completely and utterly heartbroken by the passing of his wife, this enlightens the motive behind the broken heart.
STRUCTURE The Broken heart is a type of writing style known as a sonnet. A sonnet has come to be known generally as a poem containing fourteen lines of iambic pentameter (Sonnet Writers, 2011.) The Broken Heart has four paragraphs (octets) following an ababccdd rhyme scheme. Although the key image in the poem is a heart broken into a hundred pieces, the poem has a well-ordered pattern, and instance of Donne’s common usage of contradiction.
TONE It can be said that a melancholy tone is set just through the title of the poem, “The Broken Heart.” Throughout the entirety of this poem, the gloomy tone continues. Donne begins the poem with negative words such as decaying, devouring, and plague to describe the effects of love. These words sufficiently create unpleasant images of mold taking over food, a lion attacking its prey, and a disease killing a village. Not specifically how one would imagine the feelings of love.
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