The marriage was eventually upheld; indeed, More became reconciled to it and to his son-in-law, but Donne lost his job in and did not find regular employment again until he took holy orders more than 12 years later.
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Throughout his middle years he and his wife brought up an ever-increasing family with the aid of relatives, friends, and patrons, and on the uncertain income he could bring in by polemical hackwork and the like. But in the present state of the world, and ourselves, the task becomes heroic and calls for a singular resolution. Such unsettling idiosyncrasy is too persistent to be merely wanton or sensational. It subverts our conventional proprieties in the interest of a radical order of truth.
Yet grace, if thou repent, thou canst not lack; But who shall give thee that grace to begin? Oh make thyself with holy mourning black, And red with blushing, as thou art with sin. Mark in my heart, O soul, where thou dost dwell, The picture of Christ crucified, and tell Whether that countenance can thee affright. Spit in my face ye Jews, and pierce my side, Buffet, and scoff, scourge, and crucify me, For I have sinned, and sinned, and only he, Who could do no iniquity, hath died.
Wit becomes the means by which the poet discovers the working of Providence in the casual traffic of the world. A serious illness that Donne suffered in produced a still more startling poetic effect. Is the Pacific Sea my home? Or are The eastern riches? Is Jerusalem? Anyan, and Magellan, and Gibraltar, All straits, and none but straits, are ways to them. By this self-questioning he brings himself to understand that his suffering may itself be a blessing, since he shares the condition of a world in which our ultimate bliss must be won through well-endured hardship.
I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun My last thread, I shall perish on the shore; But swear by thy self, that at my death thy son Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore; And, having done that, thou hast done, I fear no more. For this poet such coincidences of words and ideas are not mere accidents to be juggled with in jest.
They mark precisely the working of Providence within the order of nature. The transformation of Jack Donne the rake into the Reverend Dr. Donne, dean of St. One reason for the appeal of Donne in modern times is that he confronts us with the complexity of our own natures.
Once committed to the Church, Donne devoted himself to it totally, and his life thereafter becomes a record of incumbencies held and sermons preached. He was elected dean of St. Over a literary career of some 40 years Donne moved from skeptical naturalism to a conviction of the shaping presence of the divine spirit in the natural creation.
Yet his mature understanding did not contradict his earlier vision. He simply came to anticipate a Providential disposition in the restless whirl of the world. The amorous adventurer nurtured the dean of St. Freedom is where the artist begins: there are no rules, and the principles and habits are up to you. With the exception of the Anniversaries, almost none of Donne's poems were published during his lifetime; only one poem survives in his holograph. The texts for all others derive from more than two hundred pieces of manuscript evidence, the majority of which are catalogued by Peter Beal in Index to English Literary Manuscripts, volume one London: R.
Bowker, A forthcoming project under the general editorship of Gary Stringer, The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne, aims to account for the complete textual and critical history of Donne's poems. Prose Home Harriet Blog. Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library. Newsletter Subscribe Give. Poetry Foundation. Back to Previous. John Donne. Poems by John Donne.
Related Content. Articles Freedom in Poetry Herbert Sucks. Donne is a Pimp. More About this Poet. Region: England. Poems by This Poet Related Bibliography. Air and Angels. An Anatomy of the World. The Anniversary. The Apparition. The Bait. Break of Day. A Burnt Ship. The Calm. The Canonization. The Dream. The Ecstasy. Elegy IX: The Autumnal. Elegy V: His Picture. The Expiration. The Flea. The Funeral. Good Friday, Riding Westward. The Good-Morrow. Holy Sonnets: At the round earth's imagin'd corners, blow. Holy Sonnets: Batter my heart, three-person'd God. Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud.
Holy Sonnets: I am a little world made cunningly. Holy Sonnets: If poisonous minerals, and if that tree. Holy Sonnets: Show me dear Christ, thy spouse so bright and clear. Holy Sonnets: Since she whom I lov'd hath paid her last debt. Holy Sonnets: This is my play's last scene. Holy Sonnets: Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?
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A Hymn to God the Father. The Indifferent. A Lame Begger. A Lecture upon the Shadow. Sleeping under sheepskin. Carving turtles into lyres. And holding the hands of those traveling to the next world. We are all traveling to the next world. I can only give my self to another self and be fine with this. I do not know if I know how to do that anymore. How does one work with sorrow while not eventually working for it?
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Her one flaw was that she was very curious and suspicious. Hermes, Zeus's messenger, gave Pandora a golden box. He warned her never to open it because terrible things would occur if she did.
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But Pandora could hardly contain her curiosity and eventually broke down and opened the special box. Out from the box flew all the evils that plague humanity: famine, greed, pain, sorrow, etc.
John Donne | Poetry Foundation
Only one thing remained in the box — hope — which humans managed to hold on to. This myth explains the origins of human misfortune. At the same time, it teaches a moral lesson by warning of the dangers of curiosity. In addition to myths about gods, the ancient Greeks also told stories about heroes. One of the most famous Greek heroes was Hercules, the world's strongest man. Hercules was the illegitimate son of a mortal woman and Zeus, who tricked the woman by disguising himself as the woman's husband.
Hera, Zeus's wife, was angry about Zeus' affair and sought to punish Hercules. Hera tricked Hercules into believing that his entire family were dangerous beasts, which Hercules then proceeded to kill. When Hercules realized that he had killed his entire family, he agreed to perform 12 tasks to atone for his terrible actions. For one of the tasks, Hercules had to slay the nine-headed monster called the Hydra. For another task, he had to clean the filth from Augean stable, which had not been attended to in 30 years.
To do this, Hercules diverted the course of a river that washed away the mess. In the end, he completed the so-called 12 Labors of Hercules and made up for the murder of his family.
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