JOHN DONNE 1572-1631


John Donne was born in 1572. His father was a London merchant and a Roman Catholic. Donne want to embark on a political or diplomatic career so he studied law at London University. He was a great visitor of ladies and plays, and also a traveler .

His crisis started when he married secretly Ann More, without the permission from the Queen, in this way he lost the opportunity of a political career. He was imprisoned and in 1621 his trouble came to end because he renounced the Catholic Church for the Anglican .


Donne was the main exponent of a tendency in poetry against the themes of Elizabethans, called Metaphysical. His poetry dealt with God, love, death and religion, written in the form of dialogue. He used conceits: a conceit is a comparison between objects which seem to be completely unlike, famous is the comparison between lovers and compass :he believes that the union of two souls is stronger than that of the bodies.

The Wit

Originally wit meant mind and then intellect and mental faculties. In the 17th century it came to mean the capacity to relate unlike ideas and implied cleverness and ingenuity.


In "Song and Sonnets" he deals with love songs and elegies. He investigates love mystery with passionate zeal.

"The Anniversaries" are about the decay and the falling apart of the world .

"Sermons" are deep reflections of death, sin and salvation .

"The holy sonnets" are reflections about the poet's fear of his past errors and he his frightened by the idea of repenting to late .

By Perna Germana & Tumolo Maria

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