John Donne Questions and Answers

John Donne

The term "metaphysical" as originally coined by Dr. Johnson was intended to be used as a pejorative. By the time Johnson came to write his Lives Of The Most Eminent English Poets,the works of the...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2017, 11:44 am (UTC)

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John Donne

The poem is a love song written from the perspective of a woman who is in love. She is upset because after a night spent with her lover, he will now awaken and leave her because daylight has...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2020, 4:55 am (UTC)

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John Donne

You could also interpret this poem as a commentary on the way we present ourselves to others; as we develop relationships we are casting ourselves in shadow, hiding our true selves from the other...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2016, 7:37 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

Donne's poetry is of the Metaphysical school. It's a kind of pre-Romantic poetry similar to the Elizabethans', namely Shakespeare's, who used many conceits and extended metaphors like Donne....

Latest answer posted May 2, 2010, 10:04 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

In the first stanza, the speaker discusses how he first experienced romantic love in abstract form, as a desire for love. However, a desire for love could not, by itself, satisfy him. The speaker...

Latest answer posted June 25, 2019, 12:50 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

John Donne is an early seventeenth-century literary trailblazer. He is the most important of a group of poets later called the metaphysicals. He was also, in his role as an Anglican priest, the...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2021, 11:54 am (UTC)

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John Donne

This is one of those poems that Donne wrote before he turned religious. It's goal is seduction. In short, the woman he is dreaming about awakens him. He tries to seduce her, but she refuses. He...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2015, 5:39 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

Imagery is describing using the five sense of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. If you can see, hear, taste, smell, or touch an item in a poem, then it is an image. In this poem, Donne's...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2019, 5:26 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

Samuel Johnson said of metaphysical poetry: [In it, t]he most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together Johnson's is an unflattering way of putting it, but Donne's metaphysical imagery...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2019, 12:51 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

In "A Farewell to Love" the speaker expresses both awareness and remorse at his seemingly insatiable sexual appetite. This dissolute young man appears regretful of the way in which he's worshipped...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2018, 12:09 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

With so many important poets dominating the time periods you mention, the scope of your question is enormous! However, I’ll try to answer it as succinctly as possible in the space we have available...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2019, 5:40 am (UTC)

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John Donne

"The Legacy," a poem written by John Donne, a poet during the reign of James I in England, is a love poem. This is a lovely poem about how much the speaker loves the woman in his life. He first...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2011, 4:24 am (UTC)

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John Donne

John Donne's "love lyrics" were not published until after his death. It is assumed that they were written before he married Anne More. These poems are sometimes what one would expect of a more wild...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2011, 11:12 am (UTC)

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John Donne

Metaphysical poetry came out of 17th century England. It is characterized by strange conceits (comparisons), images, or paradoxes (seemingly contradictory statements that actually have truth to...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2019, 2:12 am (UTC)

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John Donne

John Donne was a metaphysical poet, which means going beyond or transcending the physical or material world. In terms of understanding his context or time period, Donne was a clergyman who believed...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2017, 12:20 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

Here are some possible responses to your question: So-called “metaphysical” poetry often seems highly learned and intellectual. Donne was himself a highly learned and intellectual man. He...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2011, 1:49 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

Recurring themes are found throughout Donne's work. The younger Donne tended to pose as something of a rake, writing witty poems of satire and seduction. He belongs to the group of poets often...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2018, 6:36 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

One theme that weaves through the majority of John Donne's works is love or romance. He was unique in his era for being fairly straightforward in his notions and descriptions of sex, with many...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2019, 8:20 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

I will paraphrase and also provide some possible interpretation of the meaning of Donne's lines in "Air and Angels." The speaker begins: Twice or thrice had I lov'd thee, Before I knew thy face...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2017, 7:26 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

Donne was a cleric (priest) in the Church of England and rose through the hierarchy to become the Dean of London's St. Paul's Cathedral. He is known for sleeping in a coffin to remind himself of...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2019, 2:35 am (UTC)

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John Donne

In "Batter My Heart, three-person'd God," Donne draws liberally upon biblical imagery in calling upon the Almighty to take hold of and consume him. The opening quatrain is replete with verbs...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2018, 1:20 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

In Donne's work as a whole we see a split between, on the one hand, what C.S. Lewis called "the dazzling sublimity of his religious poems" and, on the other, a reveling in sexual themes which some...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2018, 12:55 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

The early poetry of John Donne uses metaphysical conceits to show the physical union of the male and female, husband and wife, lover and mistress. His complex use of conceits compares to the act of...

Latest answer posted June 18, 2010, 2:06 am (UTC)

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John Donne

Samuel Johnson coined the term metaphysical and described the metaphysical poetry of the seventeenth century as follows: the most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together; nature and art...

Latest answer posted March 10, 2019, 9:02 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

The easiest way to talk about metrical feet is to explain it in terms of cadence, or the "beat." If you try to read the poem slowly, you will find that it has a series of predictable "ups" and...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2020, 1:45 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

The answer to this question could all depend on which of his many poems you wanted to believe reveal his attitude. He is well known for his love poems, and in those he is very much in praise of...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2012, 8:55 am (UTC)

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John Donne

John Donne uses apostrophe, or direct address, by talking to his beloved in this poem: he speaks directly to her to reassure her that he will not be gone long on his journey. He uses enjambment, or...

Latest answer posted December 7, 2019, 2:00 am (UTC)

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John Donne

Samuel Johnson, who came up with the term "metaphysical" to describe seventeenth-century poets like Donne, stated that in their poems, The most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together;...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2017, 11:43 am (UTC)

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John Donne

John Donne’s poetry often uses “conceits” – that is, comparisons in which the similarities between two things are explained over the course of several lines (or even multiple stanzas) rather than...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2012, 12:40 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

I. My name, here written, Adds my own strength and permanence to this window, A window that since I added my self to it has been As strong and permanent as me;Your gaze will make it even...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2015, 11:29 am (UTC)

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John Donne

Here’s how I interpret it: All human beings have lustful desires that need to be quashed. All human beings are inherently sinful, and it is only through vigilance that they avoid sin. There are...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2011, 3:09 am (UTC)

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John Donne

In poems like "Loves Growth" and "The Extasie" Donne argues that body and soul should be closely associated for a fulfilling and loving relationsip. Love is therefore conceived as both physical and...

Latest answer posted September 15, 2010, 4:15 am (UTC)

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John Donne

In the opening metaphor of this sonnet, Donne imagines life as a play; as he is now approaching his "last scene," the play—the speaker's life—must soon come to an end. This is a euphemistic way to...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2018, 2:04 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

John Donne's poetry evolved over his lifetime from witty and cynical to profoundly religious, and also reflected his conversion from the Roman Catholicism into which he was born to Anglicanism, and...

Latest answer posted April 1, 2015, 7:09 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

It appears that Grierson's own view is that Donne is a realist but not truly an intellectual, if I understand him correctly: A metaphysical, a philosophical poet to the degree to which even his...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2019, 4:12 am (UTC)

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John Donne

"A Jet Ring Sent" and "The Triple Fool" are both love poems by John Donne. More specifically, they are poems about the pains of unrequited love. Neither is addressed to the beloved, and, in fact,...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2020, 4:42 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

Donne's "Satire 3" is a characteristically learned and witty meditation on the subject of religion. Religious matters were hugely important in Donne's day, and the question of which religion to...

Latest answer posted December 7, 2017, 12:58 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

In John Donne’s poem titled “Satire 3,” the speaker urges readers to “seek true religion.” This advice is relevant to issues of freedom of conscience in a number of different ways, including the...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2012, 8:04 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

John Donne is an Elizabethan poet who was also a satirist, lawyer, and a priest. His vast experience with the subject of humanities through both his law and religious careers made him the perfect...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2013, 7:37 am (UTC)

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John Donne

The "Metaphysical Poets" or the "School of Donne" was simply a group of poets inspired by (or having works similar to) John Donne. Metaphysics, in general, is the speculation on basic principles...

Latest answer posted May 21, 2009, 11:27 am (UTC)

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John Donne

It depends what you mean by a "holy message." Clearly, these two poems are both very religious in their theme and nature, and express an intimate relationship between the speaker and his God....

Latest answer posted August 31, 2011, 8:02 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

The Metaphysical poets did not exist as a "band" of writers. Instead, these poets were placed together (historically by Samuel Johnson) based upon the similarities of their writings. Not known to...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2011, 11:00 am (UTC)

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John Donne

In “The Broken Heart,” John Donne uses word choice describing disease, violence, and destruction to show that love is an unstoppable force that causes one much sorrow and heartbreak. In the first...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2021, 4:30 am (UTC)

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John Donne

Actually, it was Samuel Johnson who coined the phrase "metaphysical" in reference to John Donne's poetry. Dryden used the word "metaphysics" to describe, what he thought, Donne's over-intellectual...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2010, 5:07 am (UTC)

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John Donne

John Donne gives us the first hint of the poem's meaning with the title. Alchemy was a precursor to modern day chemistry. Those who performed alchemy believed they could change substances into...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2018, 5:20 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

John Donne's poem "Aire and Angels" points out the separation between physical love of this world and that which is heavenly. This is, in fact, one of the many themes in Donne's poem: ...love and...

Latest answer posted August 18, 2011, 3:59 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

The phrase "metaphysical poetry" was initially used disparagingly by John Dryden (1631-1700) and Samuel Johnson (1709-84) who applied it to a group of seventeenth-century poets, whom they...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2011, 4:13 am (UTC)

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John Donne

Donne's poems definitely qualify as belonging to the metaphysical school. The metaphysical poets (though they were only stylistically affiliated, not personally) include a small number of early...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2010, 7:45 am (UTC)

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John Donne

One way in which it is possible to mine for argumentative topics about John Donne's poetry is to take a look at parts of his life to see how they might have influenced his style or choice of...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2020, 12:04 pm (UTC)

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John Donne

Three motifs in "The Triple Fool" are wise/wiseman, love/pain/grief, and fool. The motif of the fool may be the best for illustrating how motifs present and connect to a work's central ideas....

Latest answer posted March 13, 2012, 3:48 am (UTC)

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