What is a translation of the poem "Air and Angels" by John Donne into modern day English?

Expert Answers info

Ester Baumgartner, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookPh.D. from University of Miami (Fla.)


calendarEducator since 2016

write775 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Arts, and Law and Politics

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 or name; 
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame 
Angels affect us oft, and worshipp'd be; (1-4)
Here, Donne says, I have loved you two or three times before I saw your face or knew your name. This is how angels often affect us and how we worship them: we feel their presence without really physically seeing them. He also compares his beloved to an angel and implies that he "worships" her. 
 
Next, the speaker continues: 
Still when, to where thou wert, I came,
Some lovely glorious nothing I did see. 
But since my soul, whose child love is, 
Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do, 
More subtle than the parent is,
Love must not be, but take a body too; (5-10)
This basically means the following: when I came to see you, I also felt your presence or aura, and it was lovely. However, I also need...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 1,014 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

profwelcher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write21 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and Arts























































check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ask a Question