The Good Morrow

The Good Morrow Summary and Critical Analysis

It was John Donne, the renowned metaphysical poet who wrote the poem The Good-Morrow. It was first published posthumously in Donne’s collection Songs and Sonnets (1633). It is regarded as one of his first poems

  • The Good-Morrow  is a description of a perfect relationship in which the speaker of the poem as well as his lover exist
  • The speaker considers love as a profound experience that is almost similar to a religious epiphany
  • In fact, the poet wants to say that the erotic love is capable of producing the same effects that religion can
  • It is the great effect of love on the speaker that: (a) his soul awakens through it (b) he, due to it, abandoned the outside world, moreover (c) he also finds immortality in love

The Good Morrow Summary

The Good-Morrow by John Donne begins with its speaker noting how his life as well as that of his lover did not actually begin until the two persons met. Up until they came together they were similar to children suckling from the breasts of their mothers.

The speaker knows it quite well that all those earlier pleasures or happiness he has been fake or false. That is why his present love is the sole real actual thing he has ever experienced. 

The speaker of the poem The Good-Morrow (in the next stanza) mentions how there is no other way or option for this love (the love of the speaker and his lover) to fail as it controls all things he sees. Moreover, it drives his whole life. So, the speaker finds no reason to desire anything outside their small bedroom. 

The speaker, at the end of The Good Morrow, says that

  •  Their love is balanced similar to a strong or  healthy body
  • Their emotional, as well as physical states of them, are connected so deeply that nothing can/will go wrong

The Good-Morrow Form and Structure

The Good-Morrow by John Donne is made of 21 lines that is divided into three sets of seven lines conforming to a rhyme pattern of ababccc. The aforementioned one is a unique pattern of rhyme scheme. It is only made more interesting by introducing the varying pattern of the meter. 

As far as the lines of The Good-Morrow, in terms of meter, are concerned; most of them contain ten syllables. But, the last line of each stanza contains twelve syllables.

Perhaps, the poet introduced this variation for maintaining the engagement of the readers not only with the narrative but also with the text itself.


One more interesting and noteworthy thing about the poem The Good Morrow is the division of its stanzas. They are divided into seven lines. The poet, through the early four lines of each stanza, provides some information about the love of the speaker.

Whereas the last three lines of each stanza reflect more deeply on the topic as well as give a reply to a previously posed question.

Ques: When did John write The Good-Morrow ?

Ans: John Donne wrote The Good-Morrow likely in the 1590s.

Ques: What are the themes of The Good-Morrow by John Donne ?

Ans: (I) love as an awakening, and (II) exploration, as well as adventure, are the themes of The Good-Morrow.

Ques: What is the metaphorical meaning of The Good-Morrow ?

Ans: Everything that has happened earlier in the life of the speaker is now behind them. So, he says that they are ready for embracing their fresh love; it is more like embracing a new day “Good Morrow”.

Ques: What poetic devices does John Donne use in his poem The Good-Morrow ?

Ans: John Donne uses many poetic devices in The Good-Morrow. Some of them are:
Alliteration 
Assonance
Allusion
Hyperbole
Metaphor
Rhetorical Question

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