John Donne, Writing Poetry During Essay

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She is to remain quiet and calm, trusting the necessity and inevitability of the speaker's leaving.

The second and third strong images in the poem concern the love connection between the couple. The poet uses gold as a metaphor for the pliability and expanding properties of the couple's love. When gold is beaten, it bends and expands; it does not break. In the same way, the love between the man and the woman will only grow stronger and more expansive through the trial of their separation.

The strongest conceit in the poem is the drawing compass, which the poet uses to demonstrate the unbreakable connection provided by the love between the speaker and his lady. They are joined to each other like the two legs of the compass. The leg drawing the circle represents the speaker, while the leg remaining as an axis represents the lady remaining at home. Like the legs of the compass, the speaker who travels is inevitably drawn back to his love, who in turn yearns for his return. She is the axis around which his world revolves. There are no adventures or persons who can break the connection between them. This connection transcends all trials, and indeed is only forged more strongly by the expanding strength of his love. Indeed, one might even connect this love with the conceit of death used in the beginning of the poem. The love connection between the traveler and his lady is strong enough to transcend even death.
While they are to accept the separation with grace and silence, they are also to understand that their love will connect them beyond the ability of any force to destroy it.


John Donne's use of metaphysical conceit in the poems mentioned above serve to intensify the intended meaning in the case of "Valediction" and the comparison with previous works in the case of "Bait." This intensification process is itself emphasized by the often shock value of the images used. Death, for example, positioned right at the beginning of "Valediction," both shocks the reader and emphasizes the depth of the love behind the words. In "Bait," the title is itself a conceit that brings the reader to a temporary halt. The word does not in the least indicate courtship and romantic love. Thus it forms a very strong contrast with the opening lines of the poem.

In conclusion, it can be seen that Donne was a master of the metaphysical conceit. Both these poems, while considering love from two very different stages, connect with each other by means of the shock value of the conceit used. While death is openly mentioned in "Valediction," "Bait" only hints at it by the activity of fishing. These conceits then bring death and love in close proximity with each other, providing both poems with an added shock….....

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