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The Sun Rising

The Sun Rising


by John Donne

Analysis: Calling Card

Witty Conceits, or Conceited Wit


We mentioned it in the "Why Should I Care?" section, but John Donne has swag. The more literary term for this is wit—that cleverness, that certainty in your own skill. His tone is often brash or boastful. Donne is always confident in the logic of his ideas. Which is a little nuts, considering how outlandish his arguments tend to be. (Come on, check out "The Flea,"  and you'll see what we mean.)


Sure, he may be accused of being conceited, but that's not what we are talking about here. Donne uses the classic metaphysical conceit—an extended and unusual metaphor. In "The Sun Rising" we have such ridiculous ideas of obliterating the sun simply by shutting his eyes and the whole "universe shrinking down to the size of his bedroom" thing.

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