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The Sun Rising

The Sun Rising

by John Donne

The Sun

Symbol Analysis

Captain Obvious here, letting you know that the sun is an important symbol in Donne's "The Sun Rising." We'll give you a minute to process that. Ready?

Donne uses the sun in a couple of different ways. In the first stanza, it's the passage of time. The sun marks the passing of hours, the changing of the seasons. And the passage of time is an enemy to his love. He wants to stay stuck in this loving moment forever. The sun also represents power, strength, and authority. It represents a call to get up and get to work.

  • Line 4: The central argument of the first stanza is summed up in his question: Does the sun (and time and seasons) hold power over love?
  • Line 9-10: John Donne's answer? No. "Love […] no season knows, nor hours, days, months."
  • Line 11-13: Donne argues that he is more powerful than the sun because he "could eclipse them with a wink." So he doesn't have to get out of bed and get to work.
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