Imagery and Tone comparisons

Imageryand Tone comparisons

Imageryin poetry is the use of intensely descriptive language by the authorin his or her work to add depth to his or her thoughts. On the otherhand, tone in literature is the author’s attitude towards theaudience and also the subject. The poems “The Rising Sun” and“So we’ll go no more a-roving” by John Donne and George GordonByron are the most used poetic work both by readers of poems andstudents pursuing literature in their courses. However, both imageryand tone are used differently in the two poems. Discussed below arethe tone and imagery comparison between the two named poems.

TheRising Sun is a poem written by Donne. Donne is fond of love poemscriticizing women who have sex with other partners. Donne, a lawyerdestroyed her first degree of being a priest by marrying a wife Anne,whom he lived with till his death. Due to the fact the Donne was fondof writing love poems, he wrote the poem “The Rising Sun” anddedicated it to his wife Anne. Donne believed that one day, a person,not his father in law, best friend own boss nor his father will comebetween him and his wife Anne. The person who was to come between himand Anne, Donne referred the person to as the sun.

Tostart with imagery, Donne uses vivid description in describing thesun. Donne describes the sun as the guest, since he is the master ofthe house, and therefore, has the power over everything. There isalso an irony, since Donne gives himself the powers of the sun. Thesun, Treated like a person, is shown the door. In this, Donne meantthat the sun beams should not pass through the window but through thedoor. Donne and his wife Anne becomes one and referring themselves asthe earth. The sun therefore provides them with warmth. Since it’sthe sun role of warming the earth, it should therefore be close tothe earth orbit, in order to provide enough warmth. Due to thecontinuous provision of warmth, Donne and Anne will need not to getout of bed even. Donne would outshine the sun, since him too is acelestial body, but since Donne want to be seeing her beloved one andher to see him too, he chooses to stay in door and never went out tooutshine the sun, since he will not be able to see his lover again.Donne and his lover also believe that, it is better to be in lovingthan to be on time. They would not allow their differences neithertheir relative ages tell them what they should do about love. Ingeneral, Donne describes the sun as a person who comes in between himand her lover and later makes them his own world.

Imageryis also portrayed in George Gordon’s poem “So we’ll go no morea-roving”. In the poem, the title comes from the first line in thefirst stanza of the poem. It clearly tells of how a certain personwho made the right decision of not to wander around. The speaker ofthe poem realizes that time is going and becomes afraid of death. Hefinds age calling him and therefore decides to amend his ways ofwandering round. The speaker has the knowledge that after death, onehas to go to hell of heaven. He therefore knows clearly that a badperson will eventually go to hell and a good one ascends to heaven.The speaker therefore realizes that he has been doing evil thing tothe people and therefore decides to change for the better so as toevade hell and ascend to heaven. From the poem, it is clear that thespeaker fears that time has been rushing and all what he has beenwondering all along is death.

Hetherefore decides to amend his ways and live a good life. The speakertalks of the night being so loving and the day appearing soon. Thisimplies that the speaker loved sleeping since he loved the night andthe day came so soon. This implies that he has been lazy, lovingsleep than work. He then decides to abandon his sleeping and lazinesshabits, in order to be hard working for the fear on life after hisdeath. In comparing the two poems, in spite of using both heavenlybodies, that is the use of the sun in the first poem and the use ofthe moon in the second poems, the two poems still portrays adifferent image. Donne talks of love where as in the second poem,Gordon talks resolutions. In the first poem, the sun was helpful inthe provision of warmth whereas the in the second poem, the moon wasto provide the light for the speaker to always be working at night.

Toneis a style used by poets in their creative works. Tone however,implies the author’s attitude towards the audience or the subject.In the first poem, Donne’s main theme is love. He emphasizes thatlove should be the main thing in uniting people. Donne furthersstresses that love should not be altered by ones difference orrelative ages. He puts more emphasis on the fact that love shouldnever be interfered by anyone. In his poetic work, Donne uses the sunto imply people who come as third parties in love. Just as the sunwas helpful in providing warmth, Donne implied that the third partywhom may enter in to two people’s love life should instead have apositive impact to the couple rather than splitting them apart. Onsimilar lines, the tonal style is also evident in Gordon’s poem. The speaker has a negative attitude towards death. The speaker fearsdeath so much to the extent of realizing time rushing.

Thespeaker in the poem thinks that death is the most dreadful occurrencein one’s life. It is evident in the poem that the speaker realizeshow time is moving first and that time of his death is nearing. Hetherefore opt to amend his ways since from his point of view, deathcomes to those who does evil. He thinks of being good andhardworking with the aid of the moon at night in order to be good andescape death. From the speaker’s way of looks, he has a negativeattitude towards death and that he tries whatever possible he can inorder to avoid it.

Insummary, it is clear that Donnie and Gordon differ in their poeticwork. This is so because, Donnie brings out an image about love andhow a third party can have positive contribution to couples. Again,Donnie has a positive attitude towards love. In the other side,Gordon creates an image based on ones resolutions. Unlike Donnie whohas a positive attitude towards the subject, that is love for hiscase, Gordon has e negative attitude toward the subject which isdeath for his case.


Donne,John, T W. Craik, and R J. Craik. JohnDonne: Selected Poetry and Prose.London: Methuen, 1986. Print.

White,Maude V, and George G. B. Byron. SoWe`ll Go No More a Roving: Song.London: Chappell, 1900. Musical score.