The Anniversary By John Donne

“The Anniversary” by John Donne is a beautiful and fascinating composition penned by John Donne. It is about the two lovers who are going to celebrate the first year of their relationship being in love. The underlying conceit of the poem under discussion is the metaphor of royalty. Both the lovers are addressing and making love with each other as if they were royal kings and nobles. Actually Donne wants to convey passionate love in terms of royalty by comparison, proud declarations and the interconnectedness and weaving with death, spiritual love and other elements, hence making royalty into an overarching metaphor for noble, kingly love. The underlying theme is already a prominent theme of another famous poem, “The Sun Rising.” He opines: “Love is not slave of time. It is everlasting passion.”
In the very first stanza, the poet talks about his first anniversary with his beloved. He says that since they met all the things in the world have grown old. Kings, honour, beautiful ladies and sun itself all have grown old. All these things and people are heading towards their end and destruction. The only thing that will remain behind is their love. It will not decay. “Only our love hath no decay.”  The love has no tomorrow and yesterday. “This, no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday.” It will remain with them forever and never separate from them.
In the second stanza, the poet says if one of them dies one day they will be buried but death cannot separate them. He says that both of them are the princes of this world and one day they will leave this world. But souls where true love dwells will never die. Thus in this way their love shall remain forever. He says that their bodies will be in the grave not their souls. “When bodies to their graves, souls from their graves remove.”
In the third stanza, the poet says that after their death, they would be blessed. He says they are the kings and none is a king like them. There is none who can be as safe as they are for they have no fear of betrayal except from themselves. He advises her to love nobly so that they can be together forever. How sweetly he remarks that they will surely celebrate one anniversary after another until sixty years have passed—and therefore sixty anniversaries! For now, both of them are going to start the second year of being in love with each other. Assuming sixty years as a long period, he pledges a very long period of love.
Let us love nobly, and live, and add again
Years and years unto years, till we attain
To write three score, this is the second of our reign.

            To sum up, unlike all the other poets Donne with a most unusual subject has written a thrilling love poetry which deals with the period of courting. With a note of sincerity and freshness, the poem offers a refreshing contrast to the love poetry composed by his contemporaries and predecessors. Nothing is traditional in Donne’s poetry. He is fresh with his emotional flight of true and sincere love. There is a delicate blend of passion, logic, deep feeling and intellectual analysis.                                                                                        (Words: 540)