Lovers' Infiniteness - John Donne

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  • Lovers' Infiniteness -Donne
    • Conceit at start= finance= two piles of love
    • Stanza 1; focusses on the conceit of love being a transaction. They are intimate (Dear) and he want to advance the relationship
      • He has given her all he has (treasure) and does not feel she has given all she has in return
      • Possessive nature...idea of 'purchasing' her. And the idea of never having all of her suggests jealousy
      • Seems like a cold, unfeeling and negative view of love in S1
    • Stanza 2: he describes what perfect love would be like and realises that love isn't like money because if you want it to be eternal you have to grow and nurture it
      • Word "grow" suggests that if you do it properly it can last and instead he wants the love that her heart can nurture
      • Growth and nature give a more gentle image of love
    • Stanza 3: he changes his mind again and concludes that he doesn't want all of her love because if he has all of her heart, than there is not more love to grow and the love is not infinite
      • "he hath all can have no more"
      • Changes from addressing her to referring to "we" which suggests he is thinking about the longevity of their love rather than the immediate effects which he wanted at the beginning
      • Idea of money returns but unlike money, the more you give the more you get
        • Contradicts himself which adds to the idea of love being puzzling
          • Riddles are meant to be tricky to solve and this make them even more rewarding when we do solve them
            • Eventually, he sees their hearts "joint together" and growing infinitely, which is a much nicer image
  • I think the whole poem focusses on love riddle and Donne is trying to solve it throughout the poem
    • In stanza 3, he even refers to "love's riddle"
  • Structure: loose rhythm holds together the complex and kalleidoscopic themes


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