John Donne's Holy Sonnets Questions and Answers
by John Donne

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How does the form of Sonnet XIV (Batter my heart) add to the meaning?

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In this sonnet the three quatrain divisions each use a unique metaphor to explain the speakers feelings about being a sinner and his pleas to God to help him be a better person.

In the first quatrain he suggests that God is a metal worker who can "batter my heart" to make it new.  God will "break, blow, and burn, and make me new."

In the second quatrain, he compares himself to a city that is overtaken by sin.  His reason has been taken captive and his not capable of defending him.

In the third quatrain he explains his sinful ways he...

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