The Canonization Summary

The Canonization is a famous poem by English poet John Donne. Read the poem’s summary here.

“The Canonization” is a famous poem by John Donne. It was published in 1633 after Donne’s death. In Christianity, canonization is the process by which an ordinary man is recognized as a saint by a church. In this poem, the love of the speaker and his lover is immortalized like a canonized saint.


  • The power and holiness of love
  • Poetry and Immortality


The Phoenix


In the first part of the poem, the middle-aged speaker tells his scornful friend to shut up. Because he wants to love his lover. And he does not like any kind of interference. The old lover has no problem with who is doing what and where. He just wants to think about his lover alone. 

The old lover asks his friend to do his own business, and oil his own machine. He advises him to think about his own position. That person can also think about the king’s affairs if he wants. 

The speaker then asks some questions. He asks, is there any harm caused by his love? Or did his sigh sink a merchant ship? Or his tears flooded? Or is the coldness of his love driving away the spring? Or is the warmth of the blood flowing through his body increasing the number of patients dying of the plague? 

The soldiers are fighting fiercely. Meanwhile, the lawyer is also fighting his case. Nothing stops. Everything is moving at its own pace. If he and his girlfriend spend time alone, people should not have problems!

Here the poet says something comparable. He says, to let people say whatever they want, he will not mind anything. He compares himself to a candle that is responsible for its own decay. He suggests he would rather die loving. He compares himself to an eagle and a dove. He also compares their love to the phoenix of a fairy tale. He and his lover mysteriously die in love, then come back to life.

The old lover says, if he and his beloved cannot live in love, they will not hesitate to die. It is not necessary that their tombstones should have their love story written on them. Rather, their love story will be remembered through this poem. Within the poem, they take their place and are happy with it. Just as a beautiful ash urn gives greatness to the bones of a dead man, a poem will give greatness to the poet and his lover.

Later generations will recognize the greatness of their love. They will compare the old lover’s eye to a mirror in which the image of the whole world is reflected. The lover and his beloved will be canonized will be immortalized as a symbol of love everywhere.

Read Also: A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning Summary

Mr. Abdullah
Mr. Abdullah

Mr. Abdullah is a passionate love of Literature. Researcher and Lecturer of English Literature and Language.

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