Study Guide

The Sun Rising Tough-o-Meter

By John Donne


(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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