• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

With reference to two or three of Donne's Holy Sonnets, consider the similarities between his religious poetry and his romantic / love poetry.

Extracts from this document...


With reference to two or three of Donne's Holy Sonnets, consider the similarities between his religious poetry and his romantic / love poetry. In two of Donne's romantic poems 'Valediction: Forbidding Morning' and 'The Sun Rising' The Narrator utilises several techniques and styles that are not dissimilar to those used in his Holy Sonnets ,two examples of which being Sonnet 10 and 1. These similarities stem from many separate sources throughout the poetry. These include an arresting first line, defiant tone and a strong sense of personal feeling on the part of the narrator, a hallmark of a metaphysical poet. In many of Donne's pieces its is apparent that each is begun with an arresting first line that immediately sets the tone for the rest of the Sonnet or Song , a tone that is usually unexpected and in direct contrast with the conventional way in which the subject matter , in this case romanticism or religion, is approached; "As virtuous men pass mildly away," (Valediction: Forbidding Morning line 1) "Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?" (Holy Sonnet 1 line 1) ...read more.


Similarly, this type of unconventional implementation of an idea in Sonnet 10 is evident. Whereupon death is described as being purely dependant on the people which it takes from life and that as death is a quick sleep after which eternal happiness is possible, at this point we are thus immortal and thus death is dead and not those who have died and whose souls 'wake eternally'. The application and formation of such irregular ideas are the crux of many of Donne's holy sonnets and love poems; the use of these elaborate conceits is often in direct contrast to the strict structure that Donne follows when creating both his Sonnets and songs. Throughout Donne's poetry, one observes a strict Rhyme structure and technique. This contrast to the unconventional ideas projected through the poetry keeps the reader interested upholding a sense of respect for the narrator in addition to illustrating a degree of Donne's respect for the technical disciplines required in poetry; "Why does thou thus, Through windows, and through curtains call on us?" (The Sun Rising - lines 2-3) "I run to death, and death meets me as fast, And all my pleasures are like yesterday;" ( Holy sonnet 1- lines 3-4) ...read more.


This may also give rise to the more unorthodox ideas and comparisons utilised in the poetry as the narrator feels comfortable form a position of power to relate them to the reader; "Thou hast made me, And shall thy work decay? Repair me now, for now mine end doth hast," this arresting first line form sonnet 1 shows the way in which Donne's tone adjusts itself to command and question God a practise that with out these first lines would lead to the narrator becoming humbled and losing the intensity of the sonnet. In conclusion, it is clear that there are a many distinct similarities between Donne's love poetry and holy sonnets. These stem from the intensity of feeling that Donne injects into all of his work. Whether speaking to of lover or to God, Donne's feelings seem to revolve around his anxieties; he masks these with an arresting confidence throughout. The degree to which Donne's holy sonnets and love poetry are similar is high in that the narrators, in each case, use of fresh unrestrained thought through elaborate conceit leading to keen sense of personal feeling tied down in a strict tension built structure does not vary greatly between the two sets of poetry. Thus, John Donne is similar mind and soul. Toby Roberts 12y1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Donne section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Donne essays

  1. Discuss the significance of the term metaphysical poetry in relation to three of the ...

    One could argue that this emotional aristocracy is only for a selected few: the speaker and his lover; however, the reader is also a part of this emotional and philosophical enclave. Consequently, there are endless possible members of this group of emotional aristocrats.

  2. Metaphysical Poetry

    However, these are two different kinds of love, romantic love ('The Sunne Rising') and sexual love ('The Flea' and 'To His Coy Mistress'). The Sunne rising was written at a time when men used to put women on a pedestal and admire them from afar, as if the men were not worthy of the women's love.

  1. Poetic Parallelism between Jonne Donne and Lope de Vega

    create those conceits produces a debasement of the religious referents that almost results in sheer irreverence, if not blasphemy. Then, the speaker beseeches the lady not to kill this symbol of their union alleging the act would be a triple sin: murder, because of the speaker's blood in it; suicide,

  2. John Donne - A Valediction Forbidding Mourning

    During the Middle Ages and the Elizabethan Age, the circle and sphere were looked upon as perfect shapes. The main influence behind that thinking may have been Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, who believed that since, 'The motion of the celestial bodies is not straight and finite, but circular, invariable and eternal.

  1. "Explore how Donne's poetry was influenced by developments in scientific progressions, exploration and religion." ...

    get you sent to prison, and harbouring a priest anywhere in England could get you executed. He struggled with the pressures pulling him in the directions of Catholicism and Protestantism as well as his increasing non-belief in any religion for most of his early life.

  2. 'poetry, the word at its most eloquent, is one medium which could concentrate our ...

    in Bloodaxe's Critical Anthologies: 1, that Harrison subscribes to an idea put forward by the poet John Donne in his poem The Triple Fool I thought, if I could draw my pains Through rhyme's vexation, I should them allay. Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce, For he tames it, that fetters it in verse.

  1. Love in Donne's Songs and Sonnets.

    Particularly, the words "profanation" and "laity" exemplify the idea that their love transcends the physical realm (Martz 47). It is emphasized that the love they share is rare and extraordinary enough that it would be almost blasphemous to parallel the common lovers to their higher caliber of love.

  2. Why has Donne's poetry been described as 'Metaphysical'?

    Therefore, although a concrete definition of the term cannot be made, there are some general characteristics of Metaphysical poetry which are - firstly, an extravagant style, the use of conceits, puns and paradoxes and abstruse terminology, often drawn from the science of the day, secondly, an intellectual style that expresses

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work