The Sun Rising Analysis and Summary

The Sun Rising Critical Analysis

“The Sun Rising” analysis shows that it is a famous love poem by John Donne from “Songs and Sonnets”. In fact, due to this beautiful poem, John Donne gained fame in the world of literature. The poem is entirely unexpected and unconventional, due to which readers experience a new kind of poetic wit. Many poets and critics have done an analysis of “The Sun Rising” but none of them criticised it. Every poet, writer and critic appreciated the imagery, background, setting and style of the poem. One of the main reasons why this poem is famous is its start. It opens with abrupt colloquial dialogue. Moreover, it shocks the readers from its initial lines. Donne is famous for being unromantic, highly realistic and making witty remarks.

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Analysis of “The Sun Rising” as an Unconventional Poem:

This poem is an answer to those critics who criticise Donne for his cynical poetry. For instance, C S Lewis says that Donne’s love poetry is nothing but a note of contempt for women. “The Sun Rising” Analysis reveals that the poet is against romanticism. He does not glorify the beauty of women. Donne neither appreciates the prettiness of women nor does he adore any natural object. He only illustrates his emotions. Thus, Donne’s attitude is entirely unconventional so as in this poem. Greeks used to worship the sun; Keats finds romanticism in the rising sun; Pope seeks pleasure in sunrays but Donne does not feel any good thing in it. Instead of praising the moment of the sun rising, Donne scolds it. He does not like the morning rays of the sun. Rather, he says that these rays disturb him.

The Sun Rising Analysis and Summary

Analysis of “The Sun Rising”-Stanza 1:

Analysis of the first stanza of “The Sun Rising” reveals the setting, status and mood of the poet. The poet was making love with his beloved in the bedroom but sun rays disturbed him while peeping through the windows. The setting of the poem is clear to the readers. It is the time of morning and sunrise. The windows of the bedroom are towards the east side. Due to the unkind (the poet thinks it unkind) behaviour of the sun, he becomes angry. He deals the sun with iron hands and scolds it. He directly addresses it. Thus, this poem is a kind of dialogue between the sun and the poet whereas the beloved of the poet is a silent listener. The poet does not allow the sun to speak; therefore, he is also a silent listener. Anyhow, the poet does not feel the sun’s rays are pleasant. Sun has ruined the mood of the poet; therefore, he tells it off.

Importance of love:

The poet starts his speech while describing the importance of love. He says that love is above all worship. Lovers are not bound to time. They do not need any season to make love. It is the sun, who should watch for lovers, not vice versa. If lovers are making love, the sun should not disturb them. Donne has something more to say. In sheer anger, he calls the sun a “wretch”. He says that instead of interrupting them, the sun should go and reproach the boys who are late for school. If not, the sun should go to the courtiers and wake them up so that they would go for haunting with kings. The sun may disturb the busy farmers, who have a lot of work to do. In short, the poet wants to say that the sun may disturb anyone but not the lovers.

Analysis of “The Sun Rising”-Stanza 2:

This stanza reveals the pride of the poet. He considers his beloved the most precious thing in the world; more precious than the sun and its rays. The sun is not respectable in the eyes of John Donne. The poet asks a question from the sun.

Thy beams, so reverend, and strong;
Why shouldst though thinkek?

What makes the sun arrogant? why is he respected? If it is because of his “beams” then the poet can close his eyes and obliterate his rays but he does not want to do so. He has fallen in love with his beloved; therefore, she has become his life. He does not want to miss an opportunity of gazing at his beloved; not even for a moment.

In the next lines of this stanza, John Donne considers himself a King and his beloved a Queen. He asks the sun whether he wants to see the kings of the whole world. If yes, they can be found in his bed, as he is the representative of kings of the whole world. He also makes reference to “India’s spice and Myne” and put his beloved in juxtaposition with them. His beloved is spice and goldmine for him. If the sun wants to see, he (it) can watch “spice and Myne” with his beloved.

Analysis of “The Sun Rising”-Stanza 3:

John Donne compares himself to the kings of the world and comes to the conclusion that he is superior to them. To kings, it is only money and power that matters but John Donne has the greatest power He has love and a beloved; therefore, he is the richest person on the earth. The glory of kings and princes is just ridiculous and their “honor’s mimique”. The poet also points out the weaknesses of the sun. It is alone and has no beloved. Moreover, it does not have feelings of love. It also does not have emotions. Sun, thus, is also inferior to him.

The duty of the sun is to give light to the world, says Donne but the sun has grown old now. The poet, his beloved and their room are the whole world; therefore, the sun can fulfil his duty by giving light only to their room. After doing so, the sun can do rest as he needs it at this age; “thine age askes ease”. As mentioned above, the bedroom of the poet is the whole world. The sun should revolve around the bedroom of the poet. The poet is saying so because it was believed that the sun revolved around the earth. The bedroom of the poet is the whole earth. The poet ends the poem while expressing his world of love in the following lines:

“This bed thy center is, these walls, they spheare.”

Theme and Style Analysis of “The Sun Rising”:

Love is the prominent theme of this poem. After careful analysis of each and everything, Donne, in “The Sun Rising” has also expressed his emotions; there are different moods in the poem. At the start, the poet is angry; in the middle, he becomes happy due to the wealth of love. In the end, he feels proud of his wealth. Thus, in this poem, there is a development in thoughts. Images and objects are the sun, bedroom, curtains, windows, mines, kings etc. Donne has also created some landscape images in the poem. The style of the poem is colloquial. If a deep analysis of “The Sun Rising” is done, then it seems that the bouncing rhythm gives this poem a kind of onomatopoeia.

S T Coleridge has also done an analysis of “The Rising Sun”. To conclude, his comments are worth mentioning:

The poem is characterized by “true, vigorous exultation, both soul and body in full nuisance.”

S T Coleridge