John Donne (1572-1631)

Topics: Metaphysical poets, T. S. Eliot, Poetry Pages: 3 (543 words) Published: November 4, 2008

Biographical Facts
-Born in a catholicfamily
-Married Anne Moore in secret in 1601
-Converted to Anglican Church, became an Anglican priestand a dean at St. Paul -Two sides of his character: Jack Donne/ Dr. John Donne
As the passionate lover he was always analytic, thoughtful, trying to dissect and explain his passion almost scientifically.
As the divine, he approached God with the passion he had formerly shown to women : he addresses Christ with the fierceness of a lover.
-Startling, invigorating and curiously modern

2. His Poetry
-Not published after his death
-Ranges from fervent love poetry to powerful religious poetry -Tone: passionate, sensualandintellectual
-Classified as "Metaphysical Poetry" : far-fetched comparison[ conceit ] -Reacts against the traditional amorous poems of courtly love -Techniques : extreme comparisons[ conceits ], puns, paradoxes, obscurity, exaggeration -Demands an imaginative effort from the reader

2)Metaphysical Poets
-A group of Britishlyric poets of the 17thcentury
-Share wit, inventiveness, subtle argumentations, and the metaphysical conceits -The term was first applied to the 17th century poetry in 1693 by John Dryden "He[Donne] affects Metaphysics, . . . in his amorous verses, where natureonly should reign; and perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy, when he should engage their hearts."

Dryden disapproved of Donne's stylistic excesses, particularly his extravagant conceits (or witty comparisons) and his tendency towards hyperbolic abstractions. -Reacts against the 16th century verse

[smooth and sweet stylevs. energetic, uneven and rigorous style] The clicheto this point had been bleeding hearts, lips like cherries, cheeks like roses, Cupids shooting arrows of love.
-Brought back to life in 20th century by T. S. Eliot's essay "The Metaphysical Poets"(1921) T. S. Eliot argued that their work fuses reason with passion and that it shows a unification of...
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