"Hey I noticed you did a Captain Kirk thing with john donne's elegy 19. I'm doing a powerpoint presentation on John Donne's Elegy 19 for my western lit class, What we have to do is compare how this would still be used today in present time, and i was thinking it would compare a lot to love songs for example like Marvin gaye,Temptations, and so on. We can add Youtube videos to this presentation,so if you can give me some feedback that would be awesome,I also thought about rickrolling everybody at the end of the presentation, it would be good though because the lyrics in never gonna give you up would kinda fit,lol."
Here's my reply:
What a fun project to compare Donne to modern songs of seduction!
A couple themes pop out at me:
1) the man trying to convince the woman to take her clothes off,
2) the theme of sexual exploration ("let my hands rove") being like geographical exploration
The first song that came to mind is "Tonight's the Night" by Rod Stewart--it's not exactly "present time", but it's all about seduction and getting the girl to "Loosen up that pretty French gown". I think Donne would recognize it.
For a totally different feel, a current song on the radio that mentions a woman undressing is the country-western song by Chris Young: "Gettin' You Home," though the man isn't having to seduce the woman---it's quite clear she's an equal partner:
"Walking through the front door,
seeing your black dress hit the floor,
honey there sure ain't nothing,
like you loving me all night long,
and all I can think about is getting you home."
I'm sure there are plenty more---it's a classic scene!
I don't think "Never Gonna Give You Up" is a close match, as the guy is promising faithfulness and love, and those aren't really Donne-like themes--he's pretty much a playboy in these poems.... That's why I have Kirk say "and thee" to about 20 women---it's not about monogamy! : )
As for exploration, as you know, Donne lived in an era of exploration by ship--the European discovery of "new found lands" like America. That's why I thought his poem was so perfect for Kirk, with his [space]ship: the original Star Trek was made in 1966-1969, the era of the first moon landing--a time when Americans were excited about exploration of space, and so the show imagined humans in the future--that is, Kirk & Co. in the 23rd century--being explorers. )
But I don't see that hopeful interest in exploration in current 21st century pop culture. If anything, American movies seem more concerned with disaster ("2012") and apocalypse ("I Am Legend")--the 2009 Star Trek movie, for instance, is imagines a post-apocalyptic world, at least for Spock, whose homeworld is blown up.
Off the top of my mind, can't think of a song that combines seduction and geographical exploration the way Donne does, though surely there must be some.
So, those are my thoughts on this morning after Thanksgiving.
Good luck with your project--let me know what you come up with.
My best, Fresca
So, readers if you can think of songs that explore seduction AND exploration, I'd love to hear them--and I'll pass them on to my correspondent.
Oh! Perfect! A commenter notes John Mayers "Your Body Is a Wonderland"
"We got the afternoon
You got this room for two
One thing I've left to do
Discover me discovering you...
Swim in a deep sea of blankets
...Your body is a wonderland
(I'll use my hands)"