John Donne: Poems

Why does the poet call the sun busy, old and unruly?

poem name- The Sun Rising

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The poet personifies the sun as a “busy old fool” (line 1). He asks why it is shining in and disturbing “us” (4), who appear to be two lovers in bed. The sun is peeking through the curtains of the window of their bedroom, signaling the morning and the end of their time together. The speaker is annoyed, wishing that the day has not yet come (compare Juliet’s assurances that it is certainly not the morning, in Romeo and Juliet III.v). The poet then suggests that the sun go off and do other things rather than disturb them, such as going to tell the court huntsman that it is a day for the king to hunt, or to wake up ants, or to rush late schoolboys and apprentices to their duties. The poet wants to know why it is that “to thy motions lovers’ seasons run” (4). He imagines a world, or desires one, where the embraces of lovers are not relegated only to the night, but that lovers can make their own time as they see fit.