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The fact that Donne has dramatized the English lyric, has generally been acknowledged by many critics. Every lyric of Donne is indeed a piece of personal drama. A lyric, being an expression of emotion, is highly a subjective affair, while drama is the most objective form of art. The dramatist must efface his personality and whatever he has to say, must be expressed dramatically in the form of a dialogue between characters. In Donne's lyrics also there is always a dialogue or at least a monologue. There is always an interlocutor, as in the dramatic monologues of Browning. For example, "The Canonization" starts with a dialogue, "For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love." The opening line implies the presence of a third person in whom the poet addresses the lyric to meet his objections to his love-making.
Trace dramatic elements in Donne's poetry

Of course, the lyrics and sonnets of Donne are not dramas in the sense a stage play is but they are the dramatic outbursts of feelings in different love situations. His lyrics are so dramatic that some critics were induced to deny them any subjective and autobiographical significance. A few of the lyrics may be linked to actual events and people in Donne's life, but the majority of them are the expressions of moments of intense emotional activity inside the poet's mind- that is, their only correspondence to reality is to the inner reality, not to any biographically identifiable facts.

However, the term dramatic may be applied to Donne's poetry in respect of its tonal variations, attitudes, and gestures conflicting mind, intense passion, condensation, dialogue, and imagery listener (s).

"The Sun Rising" is a dramatic lyric in the form of a dialogue between the poet and the sun, the poet's beloved is the silent listener present in the background throughout. Boys going to school, apprentices unwilling to work, busy farmers, flattering courtiers, kings, and princes are the other silent characters. The poem opens in an abrupt dramatic and colloquial manner.

"Busy old fool, unruly sun, Why dost thou thus, Through windows, and through curtains call on us?

""A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" and "A Valediction of Weeping" are dramas of the simplest kind. In these lyrics, the mistress from whom the poet lover parts are weeping as it is indicated by the tones of the poems. But the interest of the reader centers around the conceit, "Stiff twin compasses" to which the loves are compared at the intense dramatic moment.

Donne's chief innovation was to make the cadences of speech the staple of his rhythm. His contemporary dramatists had done this in blank verse, but no one had so far attempted it in lyrical poetry. Donne often chooses those lines which are freely divided, and in which the accents have an effect of shock that pull the reader up and awaken his attention. The rhythms that he uses arrest and goad the reader, never quite fulfilling his expectation. They rather force him to pause here and to rush there with a strong emphasis to bring out the meaning. Traditional imagery and traditional rhythms are associated with traditional attitudes, but Donne wants to express the complexity of his own moods, crude or subtle, harmonious or discordant. He had to find a more personal and flexible rhythm to enhance the dramatic force of his poetry.


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