Tuesday, September 11, 2012

John Donne

John Donne


John Donne was born between January 24 and June 19, 1572. He was primarily raised by his mother, Elizabeth, because his father died in 1576. He was born and raised in London in a wealthy Catholic family when England was strongly anti-Catholic. Donne attended Oxford for 3 years, and Cambridge for 3 years, yet he did not end up receiving a degree in anything. John Donne is most well known for his "erotic love poetry"; his most famous works include "Holy Sonnet XIV: Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "The Flea" and "The Broken Heart". Donne somehow manages to incorporate both the "raunchy" and the "religious" in his works, and the language is dense which makes his poetry great to read. He died March 31, 1631.

by John Donne

MARK but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is ;
It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be.
Thou know'st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead ;
    Yet this enjoys before it woo,
    And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two ;
    And this, alas ! is more than we would do.

O stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, yea, more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is.
Though parents grudge, and you, we're met,
And cloister'd in these living walls of jet.
    Though use make you apt to kill me,
    Let not to that self-murder added be,
    And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it suck'd from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou
Find'st not thyself nor me the weaker now.
'Tis true ; then learn how false fears be ;
Just so much honour, when thou yield'st to me,
Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.


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