The Canonization
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The Canonization

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The canonization

The Canonization


The canonization

The Canonization[1]

1. It is a love poem in which John Donne takes a positive attitude towards love. It consists of five nine-lined stanzas. In the first stanza the author asks people not to disturb his love. In the second stanza, the poet puts up a rhetorical question, asking “ who's injured by my love? ” In the third one the poet says love has combined her and him into one and their love is mysterious. In the fourth, the poet prepares to die for love, and to be canonized for love. The last stanza draws the conclusion that the poet's love would be a pattern of other's love. The general metrical form of the poem is iambic pentameter alternating with iambic tetrameter, with a rhyme scheme of abba ccc aa. canonization: the act of officially declaring someone to be a saint. Here “ love ” is canonized.


The canonization

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love [2],

Or chide my palsy, or my gout,

My five grey hairs, or ruined fortune flout [3],

With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve [4],

Take you a course, get you a place [5],

Observe his Honour, or his Grace [6],

Or the King's real, or his stamped face [7]

Contemplate; what you will, approve [8],

So [9] you will let me love.

The Canonization

2. Line 1: the poem is in the conversational tone. It is addressed to people in general.


The canonization

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love [2],

Or chide my palsy, or my gout,

My five grey hairs, or ruined fortune flout [3],

With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve [4],

Take you a course, get you a place [5],

Observe his Honour, or his Grace [6],

Or the King's real, or his stamped face [7]

Contemplate; what you will, approve [8],

So [9] you will let me love.

The Canonization

3. Line 2 ~ 3: childe: scold; palsy: paralysis; gout: a disease causing inflammation of the joints, especially the toes, knees, and fingers. “ My five gray hairs ” refers to the coming of old age. Ruined fortune indicates Donne's ruined career after his marriage with Ann More (according to some critics). Flout: mock, treat contemptuously. The objects of “ flout ” are “ hairs ” and “ fortune ” . or … or: either … or


The canonization

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love [2],

Or chide my palsy, or my gout,

My five grey hairs, or ruined fortune flout [3],

With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve [4],

Take you a course, get you a place [5],

Observe his Honour, or his Grace [6],

Or the King's real, or his stamped face [7]

Contemplate; what you will, approve [8],

So [9] you will let me love.

The Canonization

4. Line 4: improve your state with wealth and your mind with arts. state: position; improve: make better. The objects of “ improve ” are “ state ” and “ mind ” .


The canonization

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love [2],

Or chide my palsy, or my gout,

My five grey hairs, or ruined fortune flout [3],

With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve [4],

Take you a course, get you a place [5],

Observe his Honour, or his Grace [6],

Or the King's real, or his stamped face [7]

Contemplate; what you will, approve [8],

So [9] you will let me love.

The Canonization

5. Line 5: Get yourself a career, get yourself a position of employment. place: a position of employment


The canonization

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love [2],

Or chide my palsy, or my gout,

My five grey hairs, or ruined fortune flout [3],

With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve [4],

Take you a course, get you a place [5],

Observe his Honour, or his Grace [6],

Or the King's real, or his stamped face [7]

Contemplate; what you will, approve [8],

So [9] you will let me love.

The Canonization

6. Line 6: observe: attend to; his honour: a person of importance; his grace: some bishop. “ Grace ” is a title of address applied to an archbishop.


The canonization

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love [2],

Or chide my palsy, or my gout,

My five grey hairs, or ruined fortune flout [3],

With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve [4],

Take you a course, get you a place [5],

Observe his Honour, or his Grace [6],

Or the King's real, or his stamped face [7]

Contemplate; what you will, approve [8],

So [9] you will let me love.

The Canonization

7. Line 7: The king himself or as he appears on money. the king's real (face): the king in person, the king himself; his stamped face: the coin on which the face of the king is stamped.


The canonization

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love [2],

Or chide my palsy, or my gout,

My five grey hairs, or ruined fortune flout [3],

With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve [4],

Take you a course, get you a place [5],

Observe his Honour, or his Grace [6],

Or the King's real, or his stamped face [7]

Contemplate; what you will, approve [8],

So [9] you will let me love.

The Canonization

8. Line 8: contemplate: Gaze at thoughtfully. The objects of contemplate' are “ real ” and “ face ” . what you will, approve: approve what you will. approve: try, experience


The canonization

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love [2],

Or chide my palsy, or my gout,

My five grey hairs, or ruined fortune flout [3],

With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve [4],

Take you a course, get you a place [5],

Observe his Honour, or his Grace [6],

Or the King's real, or his stamped face [7]

Contemplate; what you will, approve [8],

So [9] you will let me love.

The Canonization

9. so: so long as, if only


The canonization

Alas, alas [10], who's injured by my love?

What merchant's ships have my sighs [11] drowned?

Who says my tears [11] have overflowed his ground [12]?

When did my colds [11] a forward spring remove? [13]

When did the heats [11] which my veins fill

Add one more to the plaguy bill [14]?

Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still

Litigious men, which quarrels move [15],

Though she and I do love.

The Canonization

10. Alas, alas: an exclamation used to express sorrow, pity, or concern


The canonization

Alas, alas [10], who's injured by my love?

What merchant's ships have my sighs [11] drowned?

Who says my tears [11] have overflowed his ground [12]?

When did my colds [11] a forward spring remove? [13]

When did the heats [11] which my veins fill

Add one more to the plaguy bill [14]?

Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still

Litigious men, which quarrels move [15],

Though she and I do love.

The Canonization

11. sighs, tears, colds, heats: the conventional Petrachan hyperboles for love sickness used as an argument that their love affects nobody else's business. This usage of the words is known as “ conceit ” . colds: indifference to love; hearts: violent passion


The canonization

Alas, alas [10], who's injured by my love?

What merchant's ships have my sighs [11] drowned?

Who says my tears [11] have overflowed his ground [12]?

When did my colds [11] a forward spring remove? [13]

When did the heats [11] which my veins fill

Add one more to the plaguy bill [14]?

Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still

Litigious men, which quarrels move [15],

Though she and I do love.

The Canonization

12. overflowed his ground: flooded his ground


The canonization

Alas, alas [10], who's injured by my love?

What merchant's ships have my sighs [11] drowned?

Who says my tears [11] have overflowed his ground [12]?

When did my colds [11] a forward spring remove? [13]

When did the heats [11] which my veins fill

Add one more to the plaguy bill [14]?

Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still

Litigious men, which quarrels move [15],

Though she and I do love.

The Canonization

13. Line 13: Has my indifference to love held back an early spring? forward spring: the spring that comes earlier than usual; remove: to send or put away


The canonization

Alas, alas [10], who's injured by my love?

What merchant's ships have my sighs [11] drowned?

Who says my tears [11] have overflowed his ground [12]?

When did my colds [11] a forward spring remove? [13]

When did the heats [11] which my veins fill

Add one more to the plaguy bill [14]?

Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still

Litigious men, which quarrels move [15],

Though she and I do love.

The Canonization

14. Line 15: one more: one more person; plaguy bill: plague bill, i.e., the list of the names of the persons who died in the plague


The canonization

Alas, alas [10], who's injured by my love?

What merchant's ships have my sighs [11] drowned?

Who says my tears [11] have overflowed his ground [12]?

When did my colds [11] a forward spring remove? [13]

When did the heats [11] which my veins fill

Add one more to the plaguy bill [14]?

Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still

Litigious men, which quarrels move [15],

Though she and I do love.

The Canonization

15. Line 16 ~ 17: soldiers find wars: soldiers will find wars. Lawyers find out still / Litigious men: lawyers will still find out men who are fond of going to court. which: who (men); quarrels move: move quarrels, stir up quarrels


The canonization

Call us what you will, we are made such [16] by love;

Call her one, me another fly [17],

We are tapers [18] too, and at our own cost die [19],

And we in us find the Eagle and the Dove [20].

The Phoenix [21] riddle hath more wit [22]

By us [23]; we two being one, are it.

So to one neutral thing both sexes fit [24],

We die and rise the same [25], and prove

Mysterious [26] by this love.

The Canonization

16. such: such things as listed in the following lines


The canonization

Call us what you will, we are made such [16] by love;

Call her one, me another fly [17],

We are tapers [18] too, and at our own cost die [19],

And we in us find the Eagle and the Dove [20].

The Phoenix [21] riddle hath more wit [22]

By us [23]; we two being one, are it.

So to one neutral thing both sexes fit [24],

We die and rise the same [25], and prove

Mysterious [26] by this love.

The Canonization

17. fly: moth, the life of which is very short

18. tapers: slender candle


The canonization

Call us what you will, we are made such [16] by love;

Call her one, me another fly [17],

We are tapers [18] too, and at our own cost die [19],

And we in us find the Eagle and the Dove [20].

The Phoenix [21] riddle hath more wit [22]

By us [23]; we two being one, are it.

So to one neutral thing both sexes fit [24],

We die and rise the same [25], and prove

Mysterious [26] by this love.

The Canonization

19. at our own cost die: die at our own expense. The moths are attracted by the fire of the candle and burn themselves to death. The tapers also burn themselves.


The canonization

Call us what you will, we are made such [16] by love;

Call her one, me another fly [17],

We are tapers [18] too, and at our own cost die [19],

And we in us find the Eagle and the Dove [20].

The Phoenix [21] riddle hath more wit [22]

By us [23]; we two being one, are it.

So to one neutral thing both sexes fit [24],

We die and rise the same [25], and prove

Mysterious [26] by this love.

The Canonization

20. the Eagle and the Dove: the predatory and the meek. The Eagle is the symbol of strength, and the dove is the symbol of mildness.


The canonization

Call us what you will, we are made such [16] by love;

Call her one, me another fly [17],

We are tapers [18] too, and at our own cost die [19],

And we in us find the Eagle and the Dove [20].

The Phoenix [21] riddle hath more wit [22]

By us [23]; we two being one, are it.

So to one neutral thing both sexes fit [24],

We die and rise the same [25], and prove

Mysterious [26] by this love.

The Canonization

21. The Phoenix: a mythical bird. It could live 500 years, and then was reborn out of its own ashes, not by sex, and so it contained in one individual the male and female principle.


The canonization

Call us what you will, we are made such [16] by love;

Call her one, me another fly [17],

We are tapers [18] too, and at our own cost die [19],

And we in us find the Eagle and the Dove [20].

The Phoenix [21] riddle hath more wit [22]

By us [23]; we two being one, are it.

So to one neutral thing both sexes fit [24],

We die and rise the same [25], and prove

Mysterious [26] by this love.

The Canonization

22. more wit: more sense

23. By us: By our example


The canonization

Call us what you will, we are made such [16] by love;

Call her one, me another fly [17],

We are tapers [18] too, and at our own cost die [19],

And we in us find the Eagle and the Dove [20].

The Phoenix [21] riddle hath more wit [22]

By us [23]; we two being one, are it.

So to one neutral thing both sexes fit [24],

We die and rise the same [25], and prove

Mysterious [26] by this love.

The Canonization

24. Line 25: Both sexes meet in one neutral thing. so: in such measure, referring to “ we die and rise the same ” in the following line. one neutral thing: the phoenix


The canonization

Call us what you will, we are made such [16] by love;

Call her one, me another fly [17],

We are tapers [18] too, and at our own cost die [19],

And we in us find the Eagle and the Dove [20].

The Phoenix [21] riddle hath more wit [22]

By us [23]; we two being one, are it.

So to one neutral thing both sexes fit [24],

We die and rise the same [25], and prove

Mysterious [26] by this love.

The Canonization

25. the same: the same as before death

26. Mysterious: worthy of reverence, as mysterious as the mythical phoenix, like religion mysteries.


The canonization

We can die by it [27], if not live by love,

And if unfit for tombs and hearse

Our legend be [28], it will be fit for verse;

And if no piece of chronicle [29] we prove,

We'll build in sonnets [30] pretty rooms [31];

As well a well-wrought urn becomes

The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs [32],

And by these hymns [33], all shall approve

Us canonized for love [34]:

The Canonization

27. it: love

28. And if unfit for tombs and hearse / Our legend be: and if the legend of our love is not worthy of the honour of being inscribed on tombstone or carried to the grave by hearse. legend: our legendary love; hearse: a vehicle for carrying the coffin at a funeral


The canonization

We can die by it [27], if not live by love,

And if unfit for tombs and hearse

Our legend be [28], it will be fit for verse;

And if no piece of chronicle [29] we prove,

We'll build in sonnets [30] pretty rooms [31];

As well a well-wrought urn becomes

The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs [32],

And by these hymns [33], all shall approve

Us canonized for love [34]:

The Canonization

29. chronicle: history

30. sonnets: love poems


The canonization

We can die by it [27], if not live by love,

And if unfit for tombs and hearse

Our legend be [28], it will be fit for verse;

And if no piece of chronicle [29] we prove,

We'll build in sonnets [30] pretty rooms [31];

As well a well-wrought urn becomes

The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs [32],

And by these hymns [33], all shall approve

Us canonized for love [34]:

The Canonization

31. rooms: stanzas. The original meaning of “ stanza ” in Italian is “ room ” .


The canonization

We can die by it [27], if not live by love,

And if unfit for tombs and hearse

Our legend be [28], it will be fit for verse;

And if no piece of chronicle [29] we prove,

We'll build in sonnets [30] pretty rooms [31];

As well a well-wrought urn becomes

The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs [32],

And by these hymns [33], all shall approve

Us canonized for love [34]:

The Canonization

32. Line 33 ~ 34: a well-worked urn befits the ashes of the greatest one as well as a half-acre tomb. becomes: suits, befits; the greatest ashes: the ashes of the greatest person who dies for love; half-acre tomb: very large tomb. Here the poet is taking the urn as the love lyric, the tomb as the chronicle of worldly achievements.


The canonization

We can die by it [27], if not live by love,

And if unfit for tombs and hearse

Our legend be [28], it will be fit for verse;

And if no piece of chronicle [29] we prove,

We'll build in sonnets [30] pretty rooms [31];

As well a well-wrought urn becomes

The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs [32],

And by these hymns [33], all shall approve

Us canonized for love [34]:

The Canonization

33. these hymns: referring to the sonnets written in their praise by succeeding generations of lovers


The canonization

We can die by it [27], if not live by love,

And if unfit for tombs and hearse

Our legend be [28], it will be fit for verse;

And if no piece of chronicle [29] we prove,

We'll build in sonnets [30] pretty rooms [31];

As well a well-wrought urn becomes

The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs [32],

And by these hymns [33], all shall approve

Us canonized for love [34]:

The Canonization

34. all shall approve / Us canonized for love: all men will recognize that we have been made holy for our love. all: all men in the future generation; approve: allow


The canonization

And thus invoke us [35]; “ You whom reverend love

Made one another's hermitage [36];

You, to whom love was peace [37], that now is rage [38];

Who did the whole world's soul contract [39], and drove [40]

Into the glasses of your eyes [41]

(So made such mirrors, and such spies,

That they did all to you epitomize),

Countries, Towns, Courts [42]: beg from above [43]

A pattern [44] of your love! ”

The Canonization

35. invoke us: pray to us as saints


The canonization

And thus invoke us [35]; “ You whom reverend love

Made one another's hermitage [36];

You, to whom love was peace [37], that now is rage [38];

Who did the whole world's soul contract [39], and drove [40]

Into the glasses of your eyes [41]

(So made such mirrors, and such spies,

That they did all to you epitomize),

Countries, Towns, Courts [42]: beg from above [43]

A pattern [44] of your love! ”

The Canonization

36. Line 38: You lovers give hermitage (a hiding place) to each other.


The canonization

And thus invoke us [35]; “ You whom reverend love

Made one another's hermitage [36];

You, to whom love was peace [37], that now is rage [38];

Who did the whole world's soul contract [39], and drove [40]

Into the glasses of your eyes [41]

(So made such mirrors, and such spies,

That they did all to you epitomize),

Countries, Towns, Courts [42]: beg from above [43]

A pattern [44] of your love! ”

The Canonization

37. to whom love was peace: The love between the poet and his lover was peaceful and quiet.


The canonization

And thus invoke us [35]; “ You whom reverend love

Made one another's hermitage [36];

You, to whom love was peace [37], that now is rage [38];

Who did the whole world's soul contract [39], and drove [40]

Into the glasses of your eyes [41]

(So made such mirrors, and such spies,

That they did all to you epitomize),

Countries, Towns, Courts [42]: beg from above [43]

A pattern [44] of your love! ”

The Canonization

38. that now is rage: Love today is sexually violent


The canonization

And thus invoke us [35]; “ You whom reverend love

Made one another's hermitage [36];

You, to whom love was peace [37], that now is rage [38];

Who did the whole world's soul contract [39], and drove [40]

Into the glasses of your eyes [41]

(So made such mirrors, and such spies,

That they did all to you epitomize),

Countries, Towns, Courts [42]: beg from above [43]

A pattern [44] of your love! ”

The Canonization

39. the whole world's soul contract: draw the souls of all human beings. contract: draw together, epitomize (in Line 43)


The canonization

And thus invoke us [35]; “ You whom reverend love

Made one another's hermitage [36];

You, to whom love was peace [37], that now is rage [38];

Who did the whole world's soul contract [39], and drove [40]

Into the glasses of your eyes [41]

(So made such mirrors, and such spies,

That they did all to you epitomize),

Countries, Towns, Courts [42]: beg from above [43]

A pattern [44] of your love! ”

The Canonization

40. drove: crammed. The objects of the word are “ countries, towns, courts ” in Line 44.


The canonization

And thus invoke us [35]; “ You whom reverend love

Made one another's hermitage [36];

You, to whom love was peace [37], that now is rage [38];

Who did the whole world's soul contract [39], and drove [40]

Into the glasses of your eyes [41]

(So made such mirrors, and such spies,

That they did all to you epitomize),

Countries, Towns, Courts [42]: beg from above [43]

A pattern [44] of your love! ”

The Canonization

41. the glasses of your eyes: your eyeballs


The canonization

And thus invoke us [35]; “ You whom reverend love

Made one another's hermitage [36];

You, to whom love was peace [37], that now is rage [38];

Who did the whole world's soul contract [39], and drove [40]

Into the glasses of your eyes [41]

(So made such mirrors, and such spies,

That they did all to you epitomize),

Countries, Towns, Courts [42]: beg from above [43]

A pattern [44] of your love! ”

The Canonization

42. Who did the whole world's soul … Countries, Towns, Courts : who reduced the entire animating principle of the world to yourselves, concentrated all society into your own eyes, which accordingly mirrored and epitomized it.


The canonization

And thus invoke us [35]; “ You whom reverend love

Made one another's hermitage [36];

You, to whom love was peace [37], that now is rage [38];

Who did the whole world's soul contract [39], and drove [40]

Into the glasses of your eyes [41]

(So made such mirrors, and such spies,

That they did all to you epitomize),

Countries, Towns, Courts [42]: beg from above [43]

A pattern [44] of your love! ”

The Canonization

43. beg from above: beg from heaven

44. pattern: model


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