Summary of “Go And Catch A Falling Star” By John Donne
The poem under discussion is written by a great love and religious poet, John Donne. This poem deals with the nature of women not with their beauty. Unlike all the other love poets, in almost all of Donne’s works, whenever he gets a chance, he does not spare it and exposes the nature of the women. Like Shakespeare, he also believes: “Frailty thy name is woman.” He believes that a faithful woman is a far cry. In this regard, it can be said that he is strict in his attitude towards women’s nature. His tone is sarcastic and extremely ironic. He believes that a woman should be faithful to a man. She should never deceive her lover. The reason of Donne’s belief is perhaps that he might have come across many women but did not find them faithful in their attitude.
When the poem starts, the poet says narrates some impossible tasks to stress his point of view. He says that it is not possible for someone to catch a falling star. Second impossible task is the birth of a child from ‘mandrake.’ Third impossible task is of recovering or finding the past years. Fourth impossible task is of finding the name of the person who cleft the feet of the Devil mythically. Fifth impossible task is listening mermaid’s music. It is taken from myth. Donne believes that all these impossible tasks can be performed but it is difficult rather impossible to find a woman who is beautiful as well as faithful. Similarly, the poet narrates another task that is herculean but not impossible. He says that one can see some superhuman qualities in a man who can see strange things. He might have travelled many miles to see nature. Even the person who has travelled hundreds miles cannot find a faithful woman.
But, at the end of the poem, the poet is perhaps convinced and suggests that if one finds some beautiful as well as loyal woman, one must go to pilgrimage. It means that a beautiful and loyal woman should be worshiped. If he himself finds such a woman, he will definitely worship her but there is another thing that is worth mentioning and that is he says that he is never ready to forget that it is impossible to find such a faithful woman. That’s why, he says that he will not go to pilgrimage because it is a wastage of time. He goes to the extent of saying that even if some woman is faithful, she will lose her loyalty until the poet reaches her.
To sum up, Donne is not against a woman or beauty of a woman. He is against the nature of women which according to the poet is disloyalty. We can say that the poet has great knowledge and gives some examples to highlight his point of view. First, he rejects the task of finding a loyal woman but then he reverses the idea and says that it may be possible but it is impossible to do so. (Words: 506)