John Donne (1572-1631)
John Donne is the undisputed leader of the Metaphysical School of Poetry. He made startling innovations in the matter and form of poetry. Wit remained a dominant factor in his art of versification. His excessive use of conceits, far-fetched images, and hyperboles coupled with subtlety made his poetry obscure. Donne is universally acclaimed as one of the greatest poets of love. He is extremely charming if we focus on his lyrical force. His love poems can be divided into two groups-earthly love and spiritual love. For his blend of feeling and thought, he has been greatly appreciated in the modern age, especially by T.S. Eliot.
Donne is one of the most important writers of the Renaissance period. He became the private secretary to the Lord Keeper, Sir Thomas Egerton in 1598. He traveled Europe in 1605-06 and 1611-12. On his return to London, he fell in love with Anne More, the niece of Lord Egerton, and married her. Originally, a Roman Catholic, he was ordained into the Anglican Church in 1615, became Reader in Divinity at Lincoln’s Inn in 1616, and Chaplain to Viscount Dincaster’s embassy in Germany in 1619. In 1621, he became the Dean of St. Paul’s and in the following year an Honorary Member of the Council of the Virginia Company. Donne’s works cover an enormous variety of literary genres and subjects.
- Religious Works
(a) Devotions on Emergent Occasions (published in 1624)
(b) Essay in Divinity (Published in 1651)
- Anti-Catholic Works
(a) Pseudo-Martyr (1610)
(b) Ignatius his Conclave (1611)
(Collections appearing in 1625, 1626, 1634, and 1640)
- Treatise on Suicide
- A Collection of Paradoxes (1633)
- Poetry, Satire, Lyrics, Elegies, Epigrams, Verse
Letter, Divine Sonnets
(a) The Good-Morrow
(c) The Sunne Rising
(e) The Apparition
(f) A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
(g) Sonnets-La Corona and Holy Sonnets
(h) Death, Be Not Proud
(i) The Anniversarie
(j) The Extasie
(k) The Litany
(l) The Lamentations of Jeremy.