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Metaphor in A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

Metaphor Examples in A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning:

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

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"wilt thou be to me,..."   (A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning)

In this metaphor, the speaker compares his lover to the fixed foot of the compass and himself to the free foot of the compass, suggesting that though he is away physically, he is still tethered to her. Like the compass, she will be his guide leaning after him and keeping him on track as he roams.

"Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun..."   (A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning)

In an example of unexpected imagery used by the metaphysical poets, Donne concludes his poem with the speaker assuring his lover that her love controls his circle (his travels), and, like a compass circumscribing a circle, his travels naturally bring him to his point of origin—her.

"And though it in the center sit..."   (A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning)

Donne continues the metaphor which likens his and his wife's love to a compass.  As one leg of the compass moves to make an arc, for example, the other leg leans toward it to accommodate its motion.

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