John Donne Questions and Answers

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What are the similarities/differences between Donne's love lyrics and his religious poems?

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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 young man:

Many of his love poems show the poet chasing pretty women, trying to seduce them through wit and promises of pleasure...

It is hard to reconcile these with the man who was to become the Dean of St. Paul's, and the man who would also write the much more serious Holy Sonnets. However, it is easier to find a correlation between these two personas if we remember that while he wrote "wild" love poetry, he also wrote serious love poetry that dealt with the more sincere aspects of love: "spiritual love and commitment."

Some of Donne's [most likely early] love poetry did not convey a generous or caring regard for the topic of love: Donne wrote what were referred to as conceits. Metaphysical conceits used extended metaphors. A metaphor , of course, is when two dissimilar things are compared that...

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