The Canonization
2015/4/13
1
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.
2015/4/13
2
The Canonization
For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love [2],
2. Line 1: the poem
is in the
Or chide my palsy, or my gout,
conversational
tone. It is
My five grey hairs, or ruined fortune flout [3],
addressed to
people in general.
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.
2015/4/13
3
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.
2015/4/13
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
4
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],
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 ” .
So [9] you will let me love.
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5
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],
5. Line 5: Get yourself
a career, get
yourself a position
of employment.
place: a position of
employment
So [9] you will let me love.
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6
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.
2015/4/13
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.
7
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.
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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.
8
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.
2015/4/13
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
9
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.
2015/4/13
9. so: so long as, if
only
10
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]?
10. Alas, alas: an
exclamation used
to express sorrow,
pity, or concern
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.
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11
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],
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
Though she and I do love.
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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
12. overflowed his
ground: flooded
his ground
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.
2015/4/13
13
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.
2015/4/13
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
14
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],
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
Though she and I do love.
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15
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.
2015/4/13
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
16
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],
16. such: such things
as listed in the
following lines
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.
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17
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].
17. fly: moth, the life
of which is very
short
18. tapers: slender
candle
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.
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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
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.
Mysterious [26] by this love.
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19
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],
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.
We die and rise the same [25], and prove
Mysterious [26] by this love.
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20
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.
2015/4/13
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.
21
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]
22. more wit: more sense
By us [23]; we two being one, are it.
So to one neutral thing both sexes fit [24],
23. By us: By our
example
We die and rise the same [25], and prove
Mysterious [26] by this love.
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22
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
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
Mysterious [26] by this love.
2015/4/13
23
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.
2015/4/13
25. the same: the
same as before
death
26. Mysterious: worthy of
reverence, as mysterious
as the mythical phoenix,
like religion mysteries. 24
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],
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
And by these hymns [33], all shall approve
Us canonized for love [34]:
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25
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;
29. chronicle: history
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
30. sonnets: love
poems
The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs [32],
And by these hymns [33], all shall approve
Us canonized for love [34]:
2015/4/13
26
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
31. rooms: stanzas.
The original
meaning of
“ stanza ” in
Italian is “ room ” .
Us canonized for love [34]:
2015/4/13
27
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],
32. Line 33 ~ 34: a wellworked 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.
And by these hymns [33], all shall approve
Us canonized for love [34]:
2015/4/13
28
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]:
2015/4/13
33. these hymns:
referring to the
sonnets written in
their praise by
succeeding
29
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]:
2015/4/13
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
30
The Canonization
And thus invoke us [35]; “ You whom reverend love
Made one another's hermitage [36];
35. invoke us: pray
to us as saints
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! ”
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31
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];
36. Line 38: You
lovers give
hermitage (a
hiding place) to
each other.
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! ”
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32
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];
37. to whom love was
peace: The love
between the poet
and his lover was
peaceful and quiet.
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! ”
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33
The Canonization
And thus invoke us [35]; “ You whom reverend love
Made one another's hermitage [36];
38. that now is rage:
Love today is
sexually violent
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! ”
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34
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]
39. the whole world's
soul contract: draw the
souls of all human
beings. contract: draw
together, epitomize (in
Line 43)
A pattern [44] of your love! ”
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35
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),
40. drove: crammed.
The objects of the
word are “ countries,
towns, courts ” in
Line 44.
Countries, Towns, Courts [42]: beg from above [43]
A pattern [44] of your love! ”
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36
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,
41. the glasses of
your eyes: your
eyeballs
That they did all to you epitomize),
Countries, Towns, Courts [42]: beg from above [43]
A pattern [44] of your love! ”
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37
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! ”
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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.
38
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,
43. beg from above:
beg from heaven
That they did all to you epitomize),
Countries, Towns, Courts [42]: beg from above [43]
A pattern [44] of your love! ”
2015/4/13
44. pattern: model
39
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