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Poem Analysis - The Flea

Poem Analysis - The Flea - Poem Analysis The Flea by John...

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Poem Analysis: “The Flea” by John Donne A man of extraordinary writing, speaking, and creative talents, John Donne wrote large amounts of poems and other short literary works throughout late 16 th and early 17 th century England. It’s interesting to note that he eventually became Dean of St. Paul’s Catholic Church at the consistent urgings of the king, even though he was known in his early to middle adult years to spend vast sums of time and money on womanizing. He eventually gained a substantial knowledge of the church and its laws, and this he combined with his enigmatic social presence and knack for writing to become a dominating presence in London. “The Flea” is a love sonnet written by Donne in the early 17 th century, and demonstrates his wit and talent through its unique ingenuity and seamless structure. It may seem remarkable that Donne even mentions a flea when trying to woo his lover. While by today’s standards we consider fleas as highly unromantic and indeed probably quite the turn-off, at this time fleas were actually one of the “in” things to write about. As the story goes, a poet saw one of the things land on a woman’s breast in a hair salon, and inspired by the beast’s audacity, wrote a poem featuring the flea that gained some success. Soon multiple poets used fleas in their poetry and it became even fashionable. The real creativity in this poem is seen in how Donne uses this creature to support his argument through an increasingly layered metaphor. The poem is organized into three stanzas all of which follow an AABBCCDDD rhyme scheme. There is a loose rhythm guiding the length of his lines; more prevalent in the AABBCC section than in the DDDs. This structure is of minor consequence to the poem on the whole
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though, as its strength lays in its visuals the amusing argument it develops, more so than any sort of refined spacing or specifically placed line breaks. The first step to understanding what Donne is saying in this poem is determining the “I”
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Poem Analysis - The Flea - Poem Analysis The Flea by John...

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