Friday, February 14, 2014

A poem for the Valentine's

Here’s a brief interlude for the Valentine’s Day, a poem by John Donne. It’s somewhat cynical take on love, but I like the imagery. Plenty of analyses exist about the poem. Mostly it’s seen as an analogy on how the search for spiritual love is futile. Donne doesn’t have a great notion about women in love either. They are “but, Mummy, possest”, a body without mind.


Loves Alchymie 


Some that have deeper diggd loves Myne then I,
Say, where his centrique happinesse doth lie:
I have lovd, and got, and told,
But should I love, get, tell, till I were old,
I should not find that hidden mysterie;
Oh, tis imposture all:
And as no chymique yet thElixar got,
But glorifies his pregnant pot,
If by the way to him befall
Some odoriferous thing, or medicinall,
So, lovers dreame a rich and long delight,
But get a winter-seeming summers night.
Our ease, our thrift, our honor, and our day,
Shall we, for this vaine Bubles shadow pay?
Ends love in this, that my man,
Can be as happyas I can; If he can
Endure the short scorn of a Bridgegroomes play?
That loving wretch that sweares,
Tis not the bodies marry, but the mindes,
Which he in her Angelique finds,
Would swear as justly, that he heares,
In that dayes rude hoarse minstralsey, the spheares.
Hope not for minde in women; at their best
Sweetness, and wit theyare, but Mummy, possest.

John Donne, c.1595.