THE SUN RISING BY JOHN DONNE SUMMARY PARAPHRASE ANNOTATION EXPLANATION

 

THE SUN RISING
                                                                      -JOHN DONNE

PARAPHRASE

Stanza ł:

Why do you sun, busy, old, silly and unruly, disturb us thus through windows and curtains? Do you think that the lovers’ time will be governed by you? Time, you saucy and pedantic wretch, may go and chide late-going school-boys, gloomy apprentices or you may go to rouse and inform the courtier-hunters of the King’s ride this day. You may well”call country-ants to their duties in harvesting. After all. love, being always the same, is above all seasons and climates. It cares for no hour, day and month, that are all påhticles of time.

Stanza 2 :

Time, why should you regard your rays as reverential and strong? I can extinguish your rays at a wink, but I dont want to do that, because I do not like to lose the sight of my beloved even for that short span. If her eyes have not blinded you, call again tomorrow and tell me whether both the Indies (East and West) of spice and mine be there where you left them or lying in my very bed here. If you want to know from those kings whom you saw yesterday, you would hear that all are here in one bed.

Stanza 3:

She (the beloved woman) is all states and princes (to me), and I am at all nothing. Princes do play our roles, and compared to our (lovers’) state, all honour is nothing but mimical, all wealth seems mere alchemy. You, sun, are half as happy as we (lovers) are, for all the things (of beauty and joy) of the world are contracted thus in our bed chamber). Your age requires ease (rest) and since it is your duty to warm the world, you can do this by warming us. Shine on us and then you are shining everywhere. This bed is your centre (of action) and these walls (of our chamber) are your sphere within which you are to revolve.

 

THEME

The present poem echoes the mood of self complacent love of Donne’s love-poetry. In a mock-witty spirit, the lover addresses the allpowerful sun and warns it against disturbing the lovers in their happylove making. The theme of the poem centres round the complacence of happy-love. Nothing is admitted as superior to it save its own ‘oneness and happiness. Even the mighty sun is ignored and turned out by the ecstasy of fully satisfied love that

“No season knows’, nor clime,

Nor hours, days, months which are the rags of time.”

In this triumphant mood, love is even taken as the centre of interest and the sphere of activities of the sun for where love is, everything is there. So the lover confidently commands and declares

“Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere, This bed thy center is, these walls thy spheare.”

ANALYTICAL

 

SUMMARY I.

The lover addresses the sun that is old. He calls it foolish and disorderly. He forbids it to send its rays through windows and curtains to disturb the happy lovers. After all, it has no authority on them. It may serve to remind the boys late for their schools or the unwilling apprentices of their duty. This may also inform the court-hunter of the king’s decision to ride (for hunting) or the country ants of the harvesting time. But love is quite heedless of time, of its operation through hours, days and months 

II. The lover also forbids the sun to feel itself so respectable and formidable. He can well ignore its rays by a blink of his eyes, if he is ready to miss her sight for that short span of time. If the sun itself is not blinded by the spark of the ladylove’s eyes, it may look itself and verify whether all the assets of mines and spices of the West Indies and the East Indies respectively are more valuable than his ladylove in the bed. This will be confirmed by the kings whom the sun might have come across 

III. In the lover’s realm there is nothing but the lady as all kingdoms and the lover as the absolute ruler and he is nothing else. Compared to their love, princes are mere players. All honour is here empty and wealth, a mere show. The sun itself is only half happy by the side of the lovers in whose bedroom is found together all the wealth and joy of the world. So the sun will shine on and warm the world by shining on them and warming them up. After all, the lovers’s happy bed and room constitute the entire universe for the sun. (Stanza 3)

THE TITLE

The title The Sun Rising appears somewhat misleading. This does not serve to mean that the poem is all on the power of the rays of the sun. On the other hand, this is a slight satire on the futility of the sun to shine on the lovers absorbed in all happiness.

The poem is of joyous, fulfilled love. Nothing, even the sun itself, can come near it. The lovers, in their happy union of love, least bother about the rising sun, awakening them, or the time that is swiftly fleeting away. Love, all complacent and happy, knows ‘no season nor clyme and has nothing to do with ‘hours’ day and months’, which are the rags of time. This is even taken as the centre of all interests and attentions for the sun that can well shine on and warm up the whole world by shining on and warming up the lovers whose love is much more than the rays of the rising sun.

 

ANNOTATIONS ON THE TEXT

Stanza1:

Busie old sun,this is an address to the sun. The sun is characterised, no doubt rather wittily, as busy, old, silly and unruly. Busie-the term is used here in the sense ‘intérfering’. The poet wants to mean the interference of the sun with the lovers’ love-making. Unruly sun–the sun is taken as unruly, disorderly, because it cares for no order, no discipline, and even goes to disturb the lovers in their bed. Why does thou thus–the lover sternly questions the propriety of the action of the sun.

Through windowes……….on us—the sun disturbs the sleeping, happy lovers by sending its rays through windows and curtains. Must to thy……..run? Should the lovers oblige the time-keeping of the sun? The contention is that the lovers are not bound to obey the rules of time, set down by the sun.

Saucy, pedantique wretch-once again the sun is sharply addressed. This is taken as arrogant and fussy to take trivial matters seriously. Goe chide-the sun is advised not to interfere with the lovers, but rather to mind the matters of others. Late school-boys-school-boys going late their classes. Sowre prentices-ill-tempered apprentices.

N. B. The sun is asked to chide the lategoing school-boys and unwilling, ill-tempered apprentices.

Go tell court huntsmen–the sun is advised to leave lovers and go to other presons, like the hunters of the royal court. The king will ride-the reference is to king James | who was an enthusiastic huntsman Naturally, whenever the king decided to go for hunting, brisk activities started among his followers.

Çall country ants-summon industrious farmers. To havest offices-to the task of harvesting. Let the sun caution the farmers of the countryside and send them to their duties of harvesting.

N. B. With much sense of wit and humour, the poet forbids the rising sun to disturb the happy lovers in their bed. He also points out to whom the sun should summon and send to their work. These fellows include the late going school boys, gloomy apprentices, courthunters to accompany the king in hunting, and industrio is farm workers, engaged in the work of harvesting. All alive-without any change, steadily. No season……

.clyme-love steadily remains without least affected by the change of the season or climate.

N. B. The poet implies that the lovers’ way remains unchanged, no matter how seasons change or climatic conditions vary.

Nor houres………time-hours, days and months change as time rolls on. But so far as love is concerned, it is beyond its touch, and ever remains the same, Minutes, hours, weeks and months roll on, but love is always unchanged, and its constancy or character remains unaffected.

N. B. The stanza is a triumphant vindication of love. Love is strong and steady enough to ignore the call of the sun and obey the time schedule determined by it.

Stanza 2 :

Thy beams-the rays of the sun. So reverend and strong the rays of the sun are deemed penetrative and considered high and respected. Why should thou think? The lover wittily disowns the usual regards paid to the sun. In fact, he refuses to admit that the rays of the sun are respectable and strong.

I could eclipse……….winke—the lover readily defies the sun. He claims to slight its power and can readily shut this out of his view.

But that long-the lover could have well closed his eyes to ignore and slight the rays of the sun, but is not going to do this, for he does not want to miss the sight of his ladylove even for that short while.

N. B. The expression smacks wit, but, at the same time, bears out the depth of love and the lover’s confidence in his love.

If her eyes…….. blinded thine-this is, again, marked with the sharpness of wit and the strength of love. The lover asserts here that the spark of his ladylove may well dazzle and blind even the sun. N. B. The assertion is, no doubt, exaggerated, but inspired by love. Look-the sun may look at his ladylove, And tomorrow…..me–and agree

with him to-morrow at some late hour. This is because the sun will take time to assess her beauty. Both the India’s–the East Indies (i.e., India) and the West Indies. Of spice and Myne-India, noted for spice, and the West Indies for gold mines. Be where….them—the spice of the East Indies and the gold mines of the West Indies are in their original sites.

Or lice……me-or in the lover’s bed, in his ladylove. N. B. To the lover, the ladylove is all lovely and precious and even equivalent to the sumptuous spices of India or valuable gold mines of the West Indies. The lover extols his ladylove, for she is to him the richest possible asset. Ask for

yesterday-this is, again, in a light, witty mood. Let the sun consult different kings and princes to have their opinion in the matter, And thou……….lay-they will confirm the lover’s view that the richest treasure of the world lies in his bed. N. B. The lover is all proud of his love. The typical self-complacent mood of Donne’s love poetry is marked here.

Stanza 3 :

She’s all states=an exaggeration, no doubt, but a natural effect of the ecstasy of love. To the lover, the ladylove constitutes his entire estate. And all princes, l- the loves is the prince of all the states that his ladylove is.

What the lover means here is that she is all the states to the lover who is the prince of her life. The sense is that the lover owns and governs, like a prince, the ladylove who forms his opulent states.

Nothing else is-he does not care for anything else. Only the beloved woman and the lover matter, and all other things are of no significance or value to him.

Princes……us-actual princes merely imitate them. Love is self possessive and absolute in its own power and authority. A ruler’s possession or authority is nothing more than an imitation of what the lovers do.

Compared to this-when placed by the side of complancy and felicity in lovers. All honour’s mimique-all earthly honour appears unreal, imitative. Wealth alchemy-all the riches and assets of the world seem pretentious and false. Alchemy was an old practice (based on the of chemistryscience) to turn a base metal into gold.

Thou sunne art………..we-the lover even goes to claim that the sun itself is half happy as the lovers. The contention is that the happiness of true love is so complete, so absolute that even the powerful sun cannot attain this happiness. In that……..this-this happiness is fully evident in the concentration of all those elementswhich are much required and valued, in the lovers’ single room.

Thind age askes ease-the sun, being so old, needs some comfort, some ease. Since why duties…..

..the world-it is the function of the sun to shine in order to warm up the whole world. That’s done….. us—that task is done in warming the lovers up. Shine here to us-so the sun has no need to move elsewhere, but shine on the lovers only. Thou art everywhere-the sun can have the presence all over the world by remaining in the lovers’ room.

The lover’s argument is quite interesting and witty. He claims that the centre of love is the centre of the world. His room, where his lady and he make love, contains all that is most beautiful and valuable. So this very room is the whole world. By shining on this room and warming up the lovers there, the sun can discharge its duty to shine and warm up the world.

This bed thy……….thy spheare-this bed is the centre of the universe and the walls of the lovers’ room mark the new course of the sun’s orbit around the centre.

N. B. The poem concludes with a firm assertion of the trumphant position of love in the world. The very (little) room of the lovers, rich with the genuine warmth of love, is the centre as well as circumferance of the universe.

EXPLANATIONS 1.

Love, all alike no season knows,…….. rags of time. (Lines 9-10)

The Sunne Rising, a poem by John Donne, expresses a mood of selfcomplacent love. The poet champions love as standing far above the power of time, and the present couplet sternly declares that.

Donne’s lover scolds the sun for disturbing happy love-making by sending its rays through windows and curtains to the lovers’ room. The sun may have its functions with other persons and reminds them of their immediate tasks. But so far as love–totally fulfilled love—is concerned, it has no control or sway over this. After all, love is not at all obliged tº follow the dictates of time. This bothers least about seasons and their changes.

To true love, all the seasons are the same and equally enjoyable to the lovers to whom all sorts of climate are equally pleasant. In fact, their love makes them withstand and surpass all the odds of situations. Minutes, hours, days, weeks and months are, no doubt, the particles of time, and it passes, as they roll on. The lovers, engaged in their happy love, ignore them all and never feel alert or afraid of the fleetness of time.

Donne echoes here a specific aspect of his love poetry. This is a mood of total contentment in love. That the feeling of love is more than the chase of time is unequevocally voiced in the lines.

2. Look, and tomorrow late, tell …

All here in one bed (Line 16-20) The passage is an extract from Donne’s love lyric The Sunne Rising. The poem is in praise of true love and the poet here emphasizes the richness of love.

To Donne, love is the core of all interests and its value is immeasurable. In a mock-witty vein, he claims that the sun that visits everywhere and notes everything, can well confirm this. He refers to the spices of the East Indies (India) and the gold of the West Indies, which are considered immensely valuable. But the lover’s bed, with his ladylove, is much more opulent than these. The sun cannot but admit the value of love, Just as kings and princes do. What is emphasized by the poel is the quality of love that excels all the assets and produces of the world.

Donne’s unqualified extollation of love comes out remarkably here. In his view, neither the rich spices of the East Indies nor the precious gold mines of the West Indies are equivalent to this. The poet’s emphasis is on the superiority of love to all.

3. She is all States, and all Prince 1, Nothing else is. (Lines 21-22)

In these lines of his love lyric The Sun-Rising. Donne expresses the self-complacent mood of happy love. Through his lover, he affirms here the completeness of happy love. To this love, all other things appear of no worth or value.

Love is the supreme element in life. The lovers are fully contented with it. This is their realm and their kingdom, wherein no intrusion is allowed. The lover claims categorically that the ladylove constitutes all in all in his life. He cares for her and for nothing else. By means of a metaphorical expression, the poet takes the ladylove as the whole states

where the lover is the sole prince. What he means is that in the world of love, only the lover and the ladylove exist, and nothing else has of any significance here.

The lines echo Donne’s idealistic view about love. He considers this the prime element in the existence of the lovers whose only concern is for their happy love, and nothing. The very expression bears out the poet’s high regard for love as the greatest treasure in the lover’s life.

4. Compared to this All honour’s mimiques, all wealth alchemie (Lines 24-25)

See Expl. 3 (from the beginning to……all in all in his life)

(Then add in the same paragraph)

He declares complacently that nothing can equal it. Nothing else in life-high honour or immense riches-is comparable to this. In fact, whatever may He the nature of honour attained, this is simply an imitation, and nothing else. However wealthy a person may be, his or her life looks all empty and showy without this. Infact, nothing enables a person to be as happy and proud as his or her love, full and contened.

Comment See Expl. 3 (the last paragraph)

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