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The Good Morrow

The Good Morrow

by John Donne

Community Theme

No, this isn't about going to PTA meetings or volunteering to pick up trash at local rivers (although that stuff is totally important). Community in "The Good Morrow" is about the perfectly complete, perfectly fulfilling union created by two people in love. And if we're being perfectly honest, it's also kind of creepy. Do these guys ever get out? Or is eye-locked, soul-struck love-making all they want?

Donne hits up Plato in the final stanza as he kicks the theme of community into high gear. A variation on the Platonic theory that every human is incomplete without a mate of the opposite sex. The hemispheres conceit makes it clear that this love isn't just fun: it's essential.

Questions About Community

  1. What kind of union or community is described in this poem?
  2. Is erotic love alienating? Does it always shut out the rest of the world? How would the speaker answer that question? 
  3. What does the hemisphere metaphor contribute to this theme? Which parts of the poem give you your ideas?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The speaker's vision of love is alienating: in order to be fully committed to your lover, you must reject the world. In your face, world.

The speaker's vision of love is unifying: true love draws a couple into an infinitely large community that includes the whole world. Aww.

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