In the poem Love’s Alchemy, John Donne creates a parallel through an analogy. Primarily, this analogy is the main aspect that served as my inspiration to carry out an analysis on this literary work. This inspiration came from the parallel between a Platonist who is looking for love and an alchemist who looks to turn gold from its base metal. This premise leads Donne to state his belief that true love does not exist.
The notion that Donne brings forward is also similar to what I believe in. In my view, I do not believe that there is any true happiness in love, and it only wastes someone’s time until death claims his or her life.
Donne uses a sonnet form through the lines, by implying that we should not vest our trust in anyone who claims to have found true love because it does not exist. Upon analyzing the sonnet in the poem, especially one of the lyrics, it is notable that the implication is that we should not trust anyone who claims to have found happiness (McLennan 52). This comes through the word “imposture” which implies that we cannot be able to find centric happiness regardless of our attempts to look for it. In this poem, Donne states that some people may have experienced more love than he may have. In this case, such people have been able to penetrate deep into the mystery of love.
This implies that they have gone beyond sensual love and have been able to identify its essential happiness.
Donne utilizes the sonnet to make the transition from a Platonist to an alchemist between the lines. When using the sonnet to describe an alchemist, Donne states that he labors with an experiment to make medicine for a given ailment, but only ends up with an odor of the chemicals that clings on his garments. In this part, Donne introduces us to the word “chemic”. This word stands for the analogous person who has tried in vain to find true happiness. He exhibits similarity with the alchemist who is working tirelessly to make medicine many illnesses through an “elixir”. Ultimately, Donne compares alchemists of love to alchemists that pursue making gold from base metals. The first line in particular compares alchemists to miners (McLennan 67).
Indeed, Donne plays with sonnet convention through the concept of love. His perspective of love states that true love or happiness does not exist in this world, and those that search for it only do so in vain. The poem goes further to indicate that we do not need to spend all that we have as the chemic does in order to find true happiness. Chemics spend all their wealth and time at the expense of their pleasure in medical experiments that never yield any fruit. Regardless of how we may labor, we will not reap anything beneficial in the end. All that we get is insults and scorn from people.
In conclusion, from what I was able to infer from the poem, achieving happiness and true love is just a figment of our imagination. The love that we perceive to have is not true, and we should be contented with it. We may labor with all our strength, but our efforts do not yield any fruit. Achieving true happiness and true love is not possible because they do not exist (McLennan, 47). We only have to be grateful for the love we have regardless if it is true or not.
McLennan, E A. Love’s Divine Alchemy. Montreal: J. Lovell, 2003. Print.