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Uploaded on Jun 17, 2009
In 1611, John Donne wrote "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" to his wife, Anne More Donne, to comfort her while he was in France conducting government business and she remained home in Mitcham, England, about seven miles from London. The title says, in essence, "When we part, we must not mourn." Valediction is derived from the Latin verb valedicere, meaning to say farewell. (Another English word derived from the same Latin verb is valedictorian, referring to a student scholar who delivers a farewell address at a graduation ceremony.) The poem then explains that a maudlin show of emotion would cheapen their love, reduce it to the level of the ordinary and mundane