Batter My Heart

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Batter My Heart, Three Person’d God: An Analysis
Catherine M. Judd
Liberty University

Batter My Heart, Three Person’d God: An Analysis
John Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart, Three Person’d God is a colorful and dynamic poem about the battle that man faces with himself, sin and God. It is a piece that is full of strong metaphors and symbolism.
What’s in a Title?
John Donne submits a plea to God for a violent overpowering in Batter My Heart, Three Person’d God. The title itself is significant because it sets the tone of the piece. It establishes the emotion of the poem before the first line is read. This is not a request for a loving intercession. It is a desperate cry for, not only God, but the complete triune of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to brutally attack and claim his heart. It gives the implication that it would take all three to accomplish the task. It demonstrates a complete faith and trust that not only is God the Father but he is also God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The writer is giving credence to the ability of God and to his keeping power
Style
Donne writes this poem in the style of a sonnet. It is written in ABBA ABBA CDDCEE rhyme scheme. While most sonnets were typically written about loving a woman, Donne writes of God with sexual overtones. The line “Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me” is charged with sexual overtone. The speaker is stating that he will never be pure unless he is seduced or physically taken by God. The Christian walk and relationship with the creator is to be intimate and closer than what the eye can see. For there to be communion, communication and connection there must be a level of intimacy that lost people aren’t accustomed to. As it is with a lover your inner most thoughts and fears and struggles and desires are shared, so the writer describes his urge for an unrestrained intimate relationship with his creator where the sinful nature is violated so that true freedom can be found.
Voice



References: Donne, J (1618)Holy Sonnet XIV: Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God

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