Poetry is a beautiful form of art a writer uses to express ones emotions and thoughts. One of the hardest tasks is analyzing and understanding a poem. One line in a poem can be interpreted in so many ways, but when poetic devices are included in a poem, it makes it much easier to understand the theme and emotions the author is trying to portray. The two poems by John Donne that use poetic devices cleverly are “The Flea” and “Batter my heart”. The themes of the two poems are all referring to the speaker’s desire.
In each poem, the speaker is expressing his or her wants and needs. At least two poetic devices per poem help contribute to each poem’s meaning because a lot of poems are hard to understand and make the reader think and analyze the poem. John Donne seeks the theme of desires towards God and sexual intimacy through his use of poetic devices of metaphor, internal rhyme, and rhythm in “The Flea” and “Batter my heart, three-personed God, for you”. John Donne services the devices of rhythm and metaphor to describe the characters’ desires.
In “Batter my heart, three-personed God, for You”, John Donne uses the poetic devices of tone and rhythm to emphasize the desire and passion the speaker has for growing closer to God. The poem uses a desperate tone: “Take me to You, imprison me. ” By using the word “imprison”, it allows the reader to focus in on the speakers’ desire. The speaker is so desperate to be drawn closer to God. Donne presents this character as a lost soul seeking the love of God. Donne uses the rhythm of the poem to portray the level of desire the speaker wants “Divorce me, unite or break that knot again.
” There are a lot of pauses and emphasis after deep meaningful words. First person is also used a lot to show a closer connection to the speakers’ feelings. The rhythm is moving at a more slower, dramatic pace. This is allowing the reader to view the speakers desire as deep and meaningful. “The Flea” uses a metaphor to imply that the flea is more than just a bug. Proving that the recurring theme in this poem is that the man is justifying his desire for intimacy with this woman.
The speaker of the poem proclaims, “Thou know’st that this cannot be said a sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead. ” The sense of doubt and hesitation from the woman causes the speaker to become defensive. He sees nothing wrong with them getting intimate and uses the excuse: “Wherein could this flea guilty be,” trying to heighten the woman’s desire to sexually intimacyThe line “This flea is you and I” implies the connection that the flea has with the two of them. Making them one, as if they are married.
The speaker uses this line as a viewpoint through which the reader is able to see the speaker’s passion. The flea serves as a symbol of intimacy that the speaker wants to have with the woman and as the flea mixes both of their bloods, it was as if they already had sex. He is justifying his desire by using the flea as the excuse. John Donne explores the lengths humans would go to get what they desire within each poem. Although, each poem illustrates different desires, it is able to be captured within the poems. “The Flea” represents the lust through the metaphor of the flea.
There is a lot of attention being given to the flea and the bite it made on the two of them. The speaker keeps referring to the flea and puts emphasis on the connection it has made between him and her by mixing their blood. The speaker’s goal was to fulfill his desire of intimacy without having the woman feel any guilt or self-doubt. “Batter my heart, three-personed God, for You” dials in on the passion to be a new person who is closer in God: “Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. ” This poem examines the speaker’s want and need to be near to God.
It gives a lens for the readers to see the depths this person will go and the sacrifices they will make to have the comfort of God. The use of internal rhyme is being used in “The Flea”- making it easier to understand the theme and speaker’s feelings. The first few lines of the poem consist of internal rhyme, as well as the rest of the poem:“Mark but this flea, and mark in this How little that which thou deny’st me is. ” John Donne is able to capture the speaker’s theme and flow while still sticking to the consistency of internal rhyme.
The poem has a consistency of using internal rhyme throughout the entire poem “’Tis true, then learn how false, fears be; Just so much honor, when thou yield’st to me. ” Internal rhyme helps the reader understand the theme because the choice of words the speaker chooses to use all rhyme but are meaningful in the sense that they are adjectives for the speaker’s feelings. John Donne uses the poetic devices of tone and rhythm in “Batter my heart, three-personed God, for You” to emphasize the desire and passion the speaker has for growing closer to God.
The things humans are willing to do to fulfill their desires is being examined by John Donne. In order to help better understand the theme in “The Flea”, John Donne makes great use of internal rhyme. The use of a metaphor in “The Flea” helps prove that the recurring theme in this poem is that the man is justifying his desire for intimacy with this woman. In “The Flea” and “Batter my heart, three-personed God for you”, John Donne made great use of poetic devices to bring attention to the speaker’s desires for God and sexual intimacy.
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