W.H. Auden in his prose book “The Dyers Hand and Other Essays” suggests “What makes it difficult for a poet not to tell lies is that, in poetry, all facts and all beliefs cease to be true or false and become interesting possibilities…It may not, perhaps, be absolutely necessary that he believe it, but it is certainly necessary that his emotions be deeply involved, and this they can never be unless, as a man, he takes it more seriously than as a mere poetic convenience.” It is Donne’s sensibility and his personal experiences which are revealed with a vibrancy of language in his love and religious poetry that make him stand out as a distinguished poet compared with his contemporaries. John Donne's poetry does not portray the unchanging view of love but express the poet’s genuine and deep emotions and attitudes of different circumstances and experiences. Donne tries to define his experience of love through his own poetry; these experiences are personally felt by the reader as they are part of common human experiences. Donne brings out love as an experience of the body, the soul or at times both, these experiences rise to emotions ranging from ecstasy to misery. The intense and personal experiences and moods of Donne have been the poet’s central subjects in his poetry; his ability to turn these experiences into verse is prodigious considering the time in which he wrote being a period of deep social and intellectual change and conflict. His incorporation of his worldly and religious learning’s to poetry enables him to portray his experiences and moods vividly with the use of metaphysical conceits and rich sources of imagery. This essay will first scrutinize into how love was defined before the metaphysical poets the uses of their imagery and conceits and how it differs from Donne’s metaphysical love poetry. Afterwards it will move on to describe how Donne’s personal moods are brought out of his own worldly and religious experiences with the analysis of a few love...
References: and Works Cited
Goonetilleke, D. C.R. A. A Study Of Poetry. Lake House Investments, 1977.
Bald, R.C. John Donne – A Life. Oxford, 1970.
Mackean, Ian. “The Love Poetry of John Donne” February 2001.
Clements, Arthur Poetry of contemplation: John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, State University of New York Press, 1990
Auden, W.H. The Dyers Hand and Other Essays. Royal National Institute for the Blind, 1983
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