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There are several innovative ways to relish a poem. However, one of the most classic yet effective and popular methods of enjoying it would be reciting it while imagining the actual setting that the poem was written.
In the late 16th to early 17th century, when John Donne established his literary career, publishing poems during the poet’s lifetime was not a widespread practice. As the poet presented his or her work to utter strangers for profit-making purposes, it was rather considered an act of arrogance and superficiality. Donne himself avoided his works from being printed (published) and intentionally remained a “coterie poet,” who wrote poems for a small selective group composed of poet’s friends, colleagues, and patrons. Donnes’ poems were circulated exclusively in manuscripts. It was a perfect medium for Donne since its relatively small boundary enables him to control misinterpretation from unknown readers and shun unwanted suffering from criticism while keeping his poems in the community and enabling it to be recognized by others.
Now let us imagine ourselves as new members of Donne’s prestigious poetry group, and you are appointed to recite ‘The Good-Morrow’ for the next meeting! To fully appreciate the experience and blend into the group of intellects, a little study about the poem and its subject seems necessary. However, there is nothing to be worried about! The resources below will provide thorough information about the poem, from historical references to background settings and useful definitions of confusing words. Furthermore, the annotation page specially designed for auditory devices and tones will help you to construct your original style of reading The Good-Morrow.
Please feel free to explore and get yourself ready. We’ll be anticipating your astonishing performance.
- Annotated pages
- Distance Reading Analysis
- Other useful links to further explore John Donne and his poems
– Lecture: The Good-Morrow Analysis by Dr. Barker
– Documentary: Simon Schama’s John Donne
(requires “Infobase” account)
– Recitation: ‘The Good Morrow’ read by Richard Burton
– Light Version (Poetry Foundation)
– Detailed Version (Oxford DNB)
- Manuscript and Copies available on internet
– The Good-Morrow: Manuscript (1632)
– Manuscript (1632) – Houghton Library, Havard University
– Poems (1633) – British Library
- Other poems
– Songs and Sonnets
– Holy Sonnets