The Good Morrow

The Good Morrow


  • “The Good Morrow” is a celebration of spiritual love and awakening between two lovers, who have found a new world in each other’s company.

Structure & Language Techniques

  • The poem is structured as a three-stanza aubade, a type of morning love poem, with regular iambic pentameter and rhyming couplets, providing a rhythm and coherence to the speaker’s developing thoughts.
  • The poem displays Donne’s fondness for intricate metaphysical conceits, using the exploration and map-making of the Age of Discovery as a comparison for their love.
  • Hyperbolic language, paradoxes, and logical arguments are also employed to emphasise the unique and all-encompassing nature of their love.

Themes & Linking Poems

  • Core themes presented in this poem are metaphysical love, spiritual awakening, unity, exploration, and self-discovery.
  • “The Good Morrow” can be linked with other poems by Donne which explore similar themes, such as “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” and the lovers creating their own world, or “The Sun Rising”, where the outside world is dismissed as insignificant in comparison to their love.

Key Quotes

  • Notable phrases in the poem, like “all pleasures fancies be” and “If ever any beauty I did see / Which I desired, and got, ‘twas but a dream of thee”, underscore the speaker’s shift from physical to spiritual love.
  • The lines “Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone, / Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown, / Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one” clearly articulate the conceit of exploration and provide a declaration of unity between the lovers.

Poet & Context

  • John Donne is a seminal figure of the Metaphysical school of poetry. Active during the late 16th and early 17th century, he is known for his synthesis of passion and intellect, and his innovative use of conceits to explore complex themes.
  • “The Good Morrow”, along with majority of Donne’s love poetry, is often categorised as part of Donne’s “secular verse”, written prior to his ordination as an Anglican priest in 1615.
  • Donne’s contemporary context of Renaissance and exploration heavily influences the metaphors and imagery used in this poem.