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A Lecture Upon The Shadow Analysis



Author: Poetry of John Donne Type: Poetry Views: 2366





Stand still, and I will read to thee

A lecture, love, in love's philosophy.

These three hours that we have spent,

Walking here, two shadows went

Along with us, which we ourselves produc'd.

But, now the sun is just above our head,

We do those shadows tread,

And to brave clearness all things are reduc'd.

So whilst our infant loves did grow,

Disguises did, and shadows, flow

From us, and our cares; but now 'tis not so.

That love has not attain'd the high'st degree,

Which is still diligent lest others see.



Except our loves at this noon stay,

We shall new shadows make the other way.

As the first were made to blind

Others, these which come behind

Will work upon ourselves, and blind our eyes.

If our loves faint, and westwardly decline,

To me thou, falsely, thine,

And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.

The morning shadows wear away,

But these grow longer all the day;

But oh, love's day is short, if love decay.

Love is a growing, or full constant light,

And his first minute, after noon, is night.










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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

this is not as easy poem as it seems.no one can interpretet what donne wanted to express as donne was the one of the greatest metaphysical poets. so local students are advised to not to interpretet his poems by refering any unknown comments.

| Posted on 2012-01-16 | by a guest


.: :.

this poem is not about honesty in relationships, that's a phenomena of our era. absolute love can be nothing other than pure, uncondtional. blinding, shadowless. the poem is about the state of love and the future of the two loves who met & walked on the garden in the morning(Donne & his eventual love & wife, see the Anniversary which was written exactly 1 year from the date of this poem). Love is either absolute or conditional,i.e., we walk into the morning light with the sun at our backs, blinding all with our love, but how will we fair when the light begins to shine in our eyes at 1 minute past noon. it either blinds our love or we remain still and cast no shadows at noon. Our love makes time stand still and we exist forever on this noon day moment of here and now forever, or if we move from the stillness of this moment, one minute past noon might as well be night. God I love Donne.

| Posted on 2009-02-21 | by a guest


.: Lecture Upon the Sahdow :.

This poem really isn't as complicated as it seems. The different stages of the day simply represent the different stages of love. In the morning, everything is fresh and new, just as at the beginning of a relationship, when love is new. Nothing seems to be a fault, and one can only his or her lover in a brilliant light. Noon is representative of the one instant or true love, when each other's faults are accepted openly and without hesitation. However, just as noon only lasts for a fleeting moment, (12:01 is NOT noon, it's afternoon), true love is fleeting as well. It does not last. A rare case it is when two people can stay in true love forever. Otherwise, night ensues, when everything falls apart. Differences are no longer accepted, and love, just like the day, is over.

| Posted on 2007-01-24 | by a guest


.: Lecture Upon the Sahdow :.

This poem really isn't as complicated as it seems. The different stages of the day simply represent the different stages of love. In the morning, everything is fresh and new, just as at the beginning of a relationship, when love is new. Nothing seems to be a fault, and one can only his or her lover in a brilliant light. Noon is representative of the one instant or true love, when each other's faults are accepted openly and without hesitation. However, just as noon only lasts for a fleeting moment, (12:01 is NOT noon, it's afternoon), true love is fleeting as well. It does not last. A rare case it is when two people can stay in true love forever. Otherwise, night ensues, when everything falls apart. Differences are no longer accepted, and love, just like the day, is over.

| Posted on 2007-01-24 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem itself is much like a shadow. The second half on the poem is a mirror of the first half, like the shadows mirror each other throughout the day. Therefore, the structure of the poem further emphasizes the overall methaphor of the shadow.

The first line can be interrupted in many different ways. Some people consider it to be romantic that the speaker is telling his lover to not move, because it is noon (the perfect time for love) and if they don't move then their love will forever be perfect. But others interrupt the line in terms of the end of the poem. They see that the line as almost an order to the lover because the speaker has little faith that their relationship will continue to be perfect.

The first half of the poem is talking about how the beginning of the lovers relationship was like the morning shadows. The lovers are walking in the morning and the shadows are growing shorter. Shadows are seen as hiding things. So as the shadows are growing shorter the lovers are learning about each other and no longer hiding things from each other. The end of the first stanza leaves the lovers at the perfect time: Noon. There are no shadows so therefore, their love is in a sense perfect. There are no secrets, or shadows, to hide their love from others or from themselves.

The second half of the poem is almost a warning. The speaker speaks of the shadows of the morning saying they were blinding others from their love and therefore were good shadows. As I read the poem I imagine that the two lovers are walking along and the shadows are getting shorter, but are still long enought to conceal them from unwanted people ruining the relationship. So, those shadows are good, and hopeful because they are getting shorter and revealing them to each other and the world. At noon, once again everything is perfect. But the speaker then mentions the shadows after noon will be bad shadows because that's when the lovers will start disguising themselves again and once again be walking into the shadows which they have just left. Therefore, what was the point in going through all those shadows in the morning just to walk back into them in the afternoon? That's why the speaker says to stand still in the beginning of the poem. Because if they lovers move, they will be walking back into the shadows and back into hiding things. The last two lines confirm this. If the lovers move from noon, or constant light, they will be walking back into the shadows and basically its all down hill from there. What's the point of shedding light on the relationship during the morning, to run back into the shadows in the afternoon. It might as well be night and the relationship might as well be over.

Hope this helps at little
-hns-

| Posted on 2006-07-19 | by Approved Guest


.: :.

i just came here to see if there WAS an analysis because i need help but it looks like no one has ever written one and i will not either because i have no idea what's going on... and let me post this damn this why does it have to be so long?? everytime i click post it tells me that it should be longer and longer so here i am just making up bullll [censored] to make it look like im actually writing about the poem but really i just want people to know that i was here to see if anyone knew anything about it ... its an english project that i need to do and its due soon

| Posted on 2005-05-22 | by Approved Guest




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