The Good Morrow

 “The Good Morrow” is one of the most remarkable poems of the metaphysical poet John Donne. The poem was first published in a collection entitled “Songs and Sonnets”. The poem is a saga of innocent and pure love. It is about the contentment of love.

“The Good Morrow” is a short lyrical poem containing three stanzas that consist of seven lines. Its rhyme scheme is ababccc. In the first lines of each stanza, the arguments are introduced and the last three lines are rhymed together and conclude the statement.

The poem opens dramatically in the tradition of metaphysical poetry

“I wonder by my troth, what thou and I did

Till we lov’d?”

Its sudden conversational opening catches the attention of the readers. Then follow several questions implying the surprise of the speaker at the discovery that they had already been in love.

In the second stanza, the lover says that they together constitute a single world. In this stanza, he generalizes that true love prevents a lover from falling in love with any other person.

In the third stanza, the lover argues that their love is the union of souls and so it is immortal.

The theme of love has been developed argumentatively from surprise to confidence and then to immortality. Donne uses multiple conceits to develop the thought.

The conceits are-

  1. The comparison between the unaware lovers and the bread-feed babies
  2. The comparison between the unconscious lovers and the seven slippers who sleep for two hundred years
  3. The comparison between the micro-world with the real world. And,
  4. The comparison between the two hemispheres and the two lovers

The poem is free from bitterness, grief, and cynicism. There is neither disappointment nor disgust, a note of contentment runs through the poem. In the beginning, the tone is of a surprise then it shifts to contentment and finally, to confidence.

The poem is a dramatic monologue in form though it differs from a formal dramatic monologue. Its abrupt beginning g, single speaker, and silent listeners conform to the tradition of the dramatic monologue, but it does not have the psychological tension that a dramatic monologue of Robert Browning has. Moreover, its arguments are not found in a dramatic monologue.