John Donne’s stance in regard to love was very much different from the Medieval Philosophy of courtly love. Donne’s love poetry expressed a wide variety of changing views and outlooks towards love, love was portrayed at times as physical at other times as spiritual and at instances the combination of both.
The poet when speaking about a physical love often expresses it in terms of a religious experience where love making is not only an action taking place between a male and a female but a divine deed through which both parties attain great blissfulness. This can be very well depicted in “To his mistress going to bed” Donne challenges ideology of platonic love but highly praises and enjoys the aspects of physical love, “O, my America, my newfoundland, my kingdom, safest with one man mann’d…”
In regard to spiritual love Donne refers to it as a purer and a stronger form love,
“Our two souls therefore, which are one’
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion.”
These lines show that the spiritual love of the poet and his mistress is more powerful than any other form of love. That it is more than the physical aspect of love, therefore when there is a physical separation it does not mean that there is a separation of their love. Donne states that even though how far the bodies of the couples are separated their souls are still united which is why there is no need for an