The Canonization  

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The Canonization is a poem written by metaphysical poet John Donne. First published in 1633, the poem exemplifies Donne's wit and irony. It is addressed to one friend from another, but concerns itself with the complexities of romantic love: the speaker presents love as so all-consuming that lovers forgo other pursuits in order to spend time together. In this sense, love is asceticism, a major conceit in the poem. The poem's title serves a dual purpose: while the speaker argues that his love will canonize him into a kind of sainthood, the poem itself functions as a canonization of the pair of lovers.

New Critic Cleanth Brooks used the poem, along with Pope's "An Essay on Man" and Wordsworth's "Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802," to illustrate his argument for paradox as central to poetry.

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