To His Mistress Going to Bed (Elegy 19) Background

To His Mistress Going to Bed (Elegy 19) Background

“To His Mistress Going to Bed” is one of Donne’s elegies written published after his death as a part of his collection of metaphysical poetry. The term “elegy” is used to refer to a poem which is written to mourn the dead or the death itself. There are some discrepancies as to the titling of the collection of Donne’s poems with this term, but it is determined to stem from Ovid’s influence on the poet’s work.

This particular poem has a male speaker who is clearly trying to seduce a woman and make her come to bed with him. The poem is written as a combination of courting and sexual aggressiveness of language, where the Ovid’s influence is determined, and it could be analyzed as having satirical undertones. It is structured as a one long stanza poem with couplet rhyme. The themes explored in the poem are sexuality, love, physicality, and truth.

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