Sunday, May 16, 2010

Confined Love

I've never been a great fan of Donne's poetry except for his tendermost romantic verses. Today, though, I've been pleasantly surprised with the following verse- Its hard to imagine- a man against the background of such times in which he lived(21 January 1572 – 31 March 1630) writing this exceptionally sensitive debate of confinement and repression of women. Kudos, really!

Some man unworthy to be possessor
Of old or new love, himself being false or weak,
Thought his pain and shame would be lesser
If on womankind he might his anger wreak,
And thence a law did grow,
One might but one man know;
But are other creatures so?

Are Sun, Moon, or Stars by law forbidden
To smile where they list, or lend away their light?
Are birds divorced, or are they chidden
If they leave their mate, or lie abroad a-night?
Beasts do no jointures lose
Though they new lovers choose,
But we are made worse than those.

Who e'er rigged fair ship to lie in harbours
And not to seek new lands, or not to deal withal?
Or built fair houses, set trees, and arbors,
Only to lock up, or else to let them fall?
Good is not good unless
A thousand it possess,
But dost waste with greediness.

John Donne

Though it is also deplorable and immensely sad that the scenario painted here hasn't undergone a palpable change, yet.