Go And Catch A Falling Star


Go And Catch A Falling Star

Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the Devil’s foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy’s stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.If thou be’st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee;
Thou, when thou return’st, wilt tell me
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear
No where
Lives a woman true, and fair.If thou find’st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet:
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two or three.

Analysis John Donne : Summary Explanation Meaning Overview Essay Writing Critique Peer Review Literary Criticism Synopsis

The first stanza refers to utter imposibilities, it is not possible to catch a falling star, in the time, a falling star was a thing of great destruction (it is of course referring to a comet). A mandrake root is a plant which can take human form, however when it does is always male, meaning it is impossible to make pregnant. Mermaids, as referred to in the fifth line are mythological greek creatures who with their singing lured sailors to their deaths, by sitting on rocks and enchanting the brain of a sailor to crash, whilst the mermaid slipped enigmatically away. The utter frustration with this scenario is that mermaids were actually genderless, which meant that their beauty was for nothing but to kill, it was said that as soon as the singing of a siren was heard, you were doomed to certain death (the only one to have escaped this fate was oddysseus). Envies stinging was supposed to be imposible to avoid, envy is often anthropomorphasised as a scorpion, and once a scorpion has you in it’s vice, just as envy does, it is impossible to escape. The next 11 lines are referring to the fact that the previous were all impossibilities, however they are more likely to happen than to find a woman fair and true the following lines, up to the end suggest that even if one were to find a woman fair and true, she would stay that way for so little time that when she were brought to him, she would no longer be.

One Comment

  1. Posted Thursday, June 7, 2007 at 13:39 | Permalink

    Nice. You write about a lot of various topics. It is a sign of intelligence. Keep up the good work.

    Yes, I write about whatever takes the fancy. This, as I mentioned in the HeadLine, is a very selfish blog. Intelligent or what, I leave it for the judges… I shall keep it up…Thanks for coming bye.”


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