Poetry Friday: Plagiarizing Donne

The following poem was kinda, sorta plagiarized by me from John Donne’s poem, A Lecture Upon the Shadow. I was trying to write some song lyrics for my musician son to put to music, and I liked the images and thoughts in Mr. Donne’s poem. So I captured them in my own poem/song, and I also used a quote from Downton Abbey that I liked and believe to be true. Quoth Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham: “One way or another, everyone goes down the aisle with half the story hidden.”

So, anyway, here’s my take on shadows and secrets and the clarity of love:

'No thank you!' photo (c) 2011, Mathias - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Stand still and I will read to you,
A shadow lecture in the sun
Three hours we’ve spent, two shadows went,
A-walking hand in hand.
A-walking hand in hand.

And everyone goes down the aisle
With half the story hidden.

The sun is just above our heads,
The shadows underfoot.
In clearness brave, all things reduced,
Disguises flow away,
Disguises flow away.

'Hochzeit M & R' photo (c) 2010, !Koss - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/But everyone goes down the aisle
With half the story hidden.

And after noon new shadows shall
We make the other way.
At first we’re blind, these come behind,
And westwardly decline.
And westwardly decline.

Oh love’s day is short, if love decay,
Love needs a growing or constant light;
His first minute, after noon, is night.

And everyone goes into night
With half the story hidden.

5 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Plagiarizing Donne

  1. If you’re going to plagiarize, you couldn’t have chosen better! I really like the song. I’d love to hear the music, too.

  2. Thanks for sharing this–good choices & good juxtaposition between the lines you chose. Beautiful pictures, too.

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