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Poetry Analysis - The Broken Heart by John Donne

            John Donne's poem, "The Broken Heart" is composed of a multitude amount of themes, worthy diction, poetic devices, and figurative language that fall into place in order to successfully emphasize on the thoughts of heartache from the speaker. The speaker kicks off the poem by declaring that a man who claims he's been in love for an hour is crazy, "He is stark mad whoever says That he hath been in love an hour, Yet not that love so soon decays, But that it can ten in less space devour;" (1-4). He attempts to say that it's not because love is destroyed in an hour, but because it will destroy the lover faster than that, and he continues that idea throughout the poem. We can see the speaker using an analogy, "Who will believe me, if I swear That I have had the plague a year? Who would not laugh at me, if I should say I saw a flash of powder burn a day?" (5-8). Donne adds an analogy and establishes that plague and powder is like love working violently and quickly. It is an accessible idea that Donne uses death to compare against a broken heart. .
             The speaker continues emphasizing on the impact of love, "What a trifle is a heart, If once into Love's hands it come! All other griefs allow a part To other griefs, and ask themselves but some; They come to us, but us love draws" (9-12). The reader can take away the understanding that other feelings or griefs people experience do not demand the entire attention of the heart the way love demands it. We see a great amount of personification understanding that love takes us to it, grasping us whole, while everything else just simply "comes to us", the personification used allows the understanding of how influential love is. The theme of death is present in lines 14-16, "He swallows us and never chaws; By him, as by chain'd shot, whole ranks to die; He is the tyrant pike, our hearts the fry" (14-16). The theme of death enforces how rapid and damaging love is to us, people are killed by love like soldiers are killed by chain-shot.

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