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Thursday, 25 February 2010

John Donne: The good-morrow


Hove Lawns, East and West by raworth.

I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I

Did, till we lov'd? Were we not wean'd till then?

But suck'd on countrey pleasures, childishly?

Or snorted we in the seaven sleepers den?

T'was so; But this, all pleasures fancies bee.

If ever any beauty I did see,

Which I desir'd, and got, 'twas but a dreame of thee.

And now good morrow to our waking soules,

Which watch not one another out of feare;

For love, all love of other sights controules,

And makes one little roome, an every where.

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,

Let Maps to other, worlds on worlds have showne,

Let us possesse one world; each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares,

And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest,

Where can we finde two better hemispheares

Without sharpe North, without declining West?

What ever dyes, was not mixed equally;

If our two loves be one, or, thou and I

Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.

Hove Lawns, East and West by raworth.

The good-morrow: John Donne, from Poems, by J.D., with Elegies, on the Authors Death, 1633
Hove Lanes, East and West (24.2.10): photos by Tom Raworth, 2010


TC said...

You will have enjoyed Tom Raworth's brilliant Brighton sunsets on the two posts below.

"Some mornings too," says Tom, quietly sending these latest splendid views captured but yesterday.

Would not JMW Turner have had cause for envy of these great modern city seascapes and skyscapes?

'Tis always good to have one's thoughts raised to the skies, one has found. Even virtually, when otherwise endarkened.

(And even, nay perhaps especially, when insomniacally immured within the seaven sleepers den.)

ACravan said...

Thanks so much. This is great. It's still dark where I'm sitting at 6 am near Philadelphia with another big snowstorm on the way and this definitely raises my thoughts to the sky. For years, because of a particular annual business obligation (a BBC programming convention for their international customers), I spent a week every February in Brighton and grew to love it, even though it was usually freezing and it rained hard and rather painfully (fast, slanted rain) most of every day. Interestingly, I never saw a sunset or sunrise like that and my hotel rooms had full Channnel views. Lately, I've been visiting Brighton only through Patrick Hamilton and Graham Greene novels. I want to go back. Very nice to wake up to The good-morrow also.

TC said...


Good to have a weather report from the "other" coast, too bad the weather is what it is.

Rain and more rain here, when will it end (or perhaps more to the point here, when will we?)

I have never been in Brighton in February. But I did once long ago spend a couple of winters on the coast of the North Sea, at Brightlingsea, and the weather was ferocious.

I will give credit to an old transatlantic sea dog like TR for paying no mind and braving weather fair and foul to bring home his views.

(BTW John Donne, like most of his contemporaries, understandably had little relish for sea voyages.)

For those who are interested, more of Tom's great work can be found on these posts:



Walking Out

From the Path (for T.R.)




Paper People


Dear Tom,

Thanks for all this -- the relation of "Blind" to Donne's "Good Morrow" is striking. As are Tom's photographs from Brighton! What a world -- to see the sun rising through clouds w/ beautiful buildings of Brighton in foreground, looking out window here to see it rising through green of leaves in foreground, clouds atop ridge across the way. . . .


pale orange sky on horizon above shadowed
trees, red-tailed hawk calling on branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

another relation from which
here, presents itself

perceived, approach between
effects, such surface

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
whiteness of gull flapping toward ridge


Dear Tom,

Thanks so much for these TR photos (and collages) -- pleasure to SEE this (and know they exist) and READ your poems in connection(s) to. . . .

. said...

Thanks for this Tom,

and I'm lost in the idea of Turner in a modern city. If only.

Charlie Vermont said...

a good way to start the day
hard to overcome John Donne
on the issue of love