the Ptolemaic astronomical idea that the Earth was the center of the universe, with the Sun rotating around the Earth: This bed thy center is, these walls, thy spheare. Donne uses this kind of imagery all the time in his poems, and today we have a greater appreciation of this startling technique than did Johnson. Such wilt thou be to me, who must, / Like th' other foot, obliquely run; / Thy firmness makes my circle just / And makes me end where I begun. There is something of the adolescent melodrama of first love here, which again suggests that Donne is exercising his intelligence and subtlety to make a different kind of point. And though it in the centre sit, / Yet, when the other far doth roam, / It leans, and hearkens after it, / And grows erect, as that comes home. This was a standard Renaissance love-poem convention (compare Shakespeare My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun in Sonnet 130) to proclaim his beloveds loveliness. He holds the flea up in the second stanza as "our marriage bed" and "our marriage temple begging for the lady to spare its innocent life (line 13).
The Flea a Poem by John Donne
The Flea a Poem by John Donne
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They deliberately tried to put together ideas that wouldn't, at first glance, seem to fit together-this was done to surprise people and make them think. The poet wants to know why it is that to thy motions lovers seasons run (4). From his perspective, the whole world is right there with him, yet he knows that his perspective is limited. The sun should go away and do other things rather than disturb them, like wake up ants or rush late schoolboys to start their day. He then claims she will lose no more honor when she decides to sleep with him than she did when she killed the flea. The speaker is annoyed, wishing that the day has not yet come (compare Juliets assurances that it is certainly not the morning,. The sun is peeking through the curtains of the window of their bedroom, signaling the morning and the end of their time together. Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare, Where we almost, yea, more than married are. Yet thou triumph'st, and sayest that thou. There should be nothing above the whims and desires of lovers, as they feel, and on the spiritual level the sun is just one more creation of God; all time and physical laws are subject to God.
The strange process of reducing the entire world to the bed of the lovers reaches its zenith in the last stanza: In that the worlds contracted thus (26). This evokes the idea of an erection. The rhyme, however, never varies, each stanza running abbacdcdee. The seasons of lovers (with the pun on the seasons of the earth, also ruled by the sun) should not be ruled by the movements of the sun. The poet asks the sun why it is shining in and disturbing him and his lover in bed. He imagines a world, or desires one, where the embraces of lovers are not relegated only to the night, but that lovers can make their own time as they see fit. Shes all states, and all princes I(21). Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?
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