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The Broken Heart poem

             Anyone who has experienced a break in a relationship that results with a broken heart can empathize with John Donne’s poem “The Broken Heart” after some thought. A somewhat bitter poem, Donne fills the verses with similes and metaphors that compare love with the uncaring yet destructive items he chooses. Specific comparisons made in the poem show how the author sees love as it treated him. The imagery found in these comparisons used in the verses helps to establish that Donne sees the nature of love as harsh and the destroyer of his heart, ergo the title of the poem and the main message.
             Word choice is a main part in setting up how clear the imagery in a work will be. In “The Broken Heart,” in order to portray the ill effects of love, Donne uses more negatively-linked words because of his mindset on love. Many poems are flowery, romantic poems on how love makes the world beautiful, but Donne says, “They come to us, but us Love draws./ He swallows us and never chaws.” (lines 13-14) Depicted as a devouring monster, love seems not so simple and beautiful. He goes on to say, “If ‘twere not so, what did become/ Of my heart, when I first saw thee?/ I brought my heart into the room,/ But from the room, I carried none with me.,”(17-20) as if when presenting his heart to a young lady, love ate his heart and left him with none. In the usage of words like ‘decay,’ ‘devour,’ ‘swallow,’ and ‘shiver,’ John Donne effectively depicts love as the malicious thing that it can be.
             Another visual reference to love in “The Broken Heart” is the mentioning of glass. Glass can represent both frailty and perspective in the case of this work. In lines21-24 it is written, “I know/ Mine would have taught thine heart to show/ More pity unto me: but Love, alas,/ At one first blow did shiver it as glass.