Study Guide

A Valediction Forbidding Mourning Tough-o-Meter

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(7) Tree Line

Donne is one tough nut to crack. What makes his poetry so unique is his deliberate attempt to connect the most far-fetched ideas and create seemingly impossible metaphors. Then he unravels those metaphors through difficult, lawyer-like arguments. Plus, you know, he wrote all this about 400 years ago. Once you 'get' all the metaphors, everything falls into place, but it usually takes a few times through (plus a little Shmoopy help) to unlock it.

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