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In the poems 'The Sun Rising' by John Donne and 'Funeral Blues' by W.H. Auden, hyperbolic imagery is used to declare the poet's love towards a woman and a deceased lover/friend.

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Introduction

In the poems 'The Sun Rising' by John Donne and 'Funeral Blues' by W.H. Auden, hyperbolic imagery is used to declare the poet's love towards a woman and a deceased lover/friend. However, the two poems differ in their tone and attitude, one being cheerful and confident, the other is gloomy and despondent and at the end the reader realises that the points of the two poets are very different. In 'The Sun Rising', Donne teasingly criticises the rising sun for disturbing him and his lover lying in bed, calling it "saucy". He claims that their love is so strong it can overcome all workings of nature, and that in the end, the world revolves around him and his lover. He begins by calling the sun "a busy old fool" and challenges it as a respected and powerful force in nature -"Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?" Though everything on earth runs according to the sun, their love knows no boundaries; "Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime, Nor hours, days, months which are the rags of time." ...read more.

Middle

To conclude, Donne makes the greatest assertion of all, that is, his bed is in fact the world. Therefore, all the sun needs to do in his old age is to "Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere; This bed thy center is, these walls, thy sphere." The sun needs only to warm Donne and his lover, as everything which mattered in the world (to him) was already lying beside him. In 'Funeral Blues' the speaker mourns for a deceased loved one and again there is a sense of progression in the exaggeration of imagery when expressing love lost and sorrow. The speaker talks of everything in the world coming into an end after the lover has died, but there is bathos throughout the imagery as it alternates from a serious matter to something more lighthearted. For example in the first stanza, the speaker describes things people do personally to deal with grief: "stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone" However the next line clashes, with "prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone" and here we are left with something less somber. ...read more.

Conclusion

The final line ends the poem in a depressed tone, the words (underlined) are used to make a determined point: "For nothing now can ever come to any good." In 'The Sun Rising', Donne exaggerates the imagery and importance of his love affair to the world in an egotistical and somewhat overbearing way, which undoubtedly shows his love and devotion for this woman. He playfully believes that even a powerful natural force such as the sun is unable to hinder their love and the course of the world could change for lovers. 'Funeral Blues' again uses detailed imagery in a hyperbolic, progressive way yet the overall attitude of the poem is very different. Even though the poet uses extraordinary ideas and images and demands that the world stop its course for love, just like Donne in 'The Sun Rising' , Auden is rebuking the egotism used in his poem. By using bathos and the juxtaposition of words, he shows the reader that the universe is bigger than humans are. That life goes on for other people, and that the workings and joys of the world cannot be changed due to one person's grief, although inevitably they wish for it to be true. ...read more.

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