The Anniversary

  • Plot: The Anniversary is a reflexion on the spiritual union shared by two lovers, and the cyclical passage of time, explored in a confessional manner.
  • Structure & Language Techniques: The poem is structured as metaphysical verse with complex metaphysical conceits, ingenious use of paradoxes, and a blend of various forms of language, ranging from the colloquial to the philosophical.
  • Themes & Linking Poems: Central themes include metaphysical love, mortality, spirituality, and the passage of time, which can be linked to Donne’s other works such as “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” or “The Sun Rising”.
  • Key Quotes: Notable quotes include “Only our love hath no decay”, illustrating the theme of eternal love, and “We can die by it, if not live by love”, showing the depth of the speaker’s passion.
  • Poet & Context: John Donne, an influential figure in the Metaphysical movement of poetry, wrote in the late 16th and early 17th century, exploring themes of love, death and spirituality, often through personal, emotional, and intellectual perspectives to challenge conventional poetic forms.