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To His Mistress Going to Bed Summary & Analysis
by John Donne

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“To His Mistress Going to Bed” was written by the English poet John Donne, most likely between 1593 and 1596. The poem plays on the traditions of love poetry. The speaker offers elegant and elaborate compliments for his mistress, praising her beauty. But unlike other love poems of its era, “To His Mistress Going to Bed” doesn’t beat around the bush—the speaker wants to have sex with his mistress, preferably as soon as possible. As the speaker articulates his erotic desire, the poem exposes some dynamics between speaker and mistress: he not only wants to sleep with her, he also wants to possess and dominate her.

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