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The Sun Rising
The Sun Rising
by John Donne

Tough-O-Meter

We’ve got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you’ll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(7) Tree Line

There's no way around it: John Donne is tough. He lived four hundred years ago and loves to show off by making complicated arguments. His images tend to shift pretty rapidly and he isn't afraid to change course or even contradict himself as his logic develops. That's absolutely what makes this poem worth the climb, though. In thirty lines, Donne goes from telling the sun to scram to asking the sun to shine on him forever. Figuring out how he got there is like unraveling a pesky knot—a little frustrating but ultimately satisfying.

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