The Good Morrow
Spiritual and Physical Love, with Conceits
Spiritual and Physical Love
Donne was obsessed with the relationship between body and soul and what that meant about physical versus spiritual love. Was the body separate from the soul? Could they work together? Is physical love just as elevated and valuable as spiritual love? He worked over these themes in many of his other poems, including the religious ones. Check out "The Ecstasy" or some of the holy sonnets for further insight.
Lady Gaga and costumes. Eric Clapton and guitars. Donne and conceits. It's what these dudes are known for. These super-extended, super-intense metaphors, are all over Donne-land, ranging from the sweet (separated lovers = a compass in "Valediction: Forbidding Mourning") to seriously disturbed (world = two streams of blood out of a beheaded neck in "Progress of the Soul"). In "The Good Morrow," Donne trots out some metaphors drawn from geography, cartography, and physiology, comparing love to world-exploration, hearts to hemispheres, and true love to a healthy human body.