In John Donne’s poem, “The Broken Heart,” the narrator is expressinghis feelings about love, after experiencing the hardships of a separationor rejection. The form of the poem is made up like a sonnet, for it shows commoncharacteristics in the order of telling a story in a poem. It contains fourstanzas, in which the first stanza introduces an idea, the second stanzaexpands it, the third stanza concludes it, and the fourth stanza holds themoral of the poem.
In the first stanza, the narrator introduces the image of a heart-broken person. He questions himself for he dared to love. Saying he “hadthe plague a year” (l. 6) implies that loving someone was a ratherunpleasant experience for him. The second stanza expands the thought of love as being cruel whendevoting ones heart to it completely.
The speaker also gives love the powerof weapons, to kill: “as by chain’d shot, whole ranks to die” (l. 15). The conclusion takes place in the third stanza. The narrator concludesthat he had lost his heart to one person, but his love remained unrequitedby his significant other.Order now
The speaker tells the reader that his heart hasbeen “shivered. . . as glass” (l. 24).
In this stanza the speaker alsoaddresses his lover rather than speaking to the reader. The final stanza, the moral of the poem, holds the speakers finalopinion about love. He states that this rejection does not mean the end ofthe world, but seriously broke his heart, as he called it “his rags ofheart” (l. 31).
He concludes that he could never love someone the same wayagain, as he loved this one person. The speaker’s attitude towards love is obviously rather negative, forthe negative experience he had with love. He sees love as very powerful;powerful enough to take lives and break hearts, but he also realizes thatlove could have been so beautiful if the other side would have requited it. The speaker is hurt and is not willing to torture himself, by having toaccept another rejection. He would rather go on not loving, than gettinghis heart broken again.