John Donne

English poet

1572   -   1631

genre: metaphysical poets
country of citizenship: Kingdom of England
educated at: University of Cambridge
occupation: poet, translator, lawyer, songwriter, politician, writer
position held: Member of Parliament in the Parliament of England

John Donne ( DUN; 22 January 1572 – 31 March 1631) was an English poet and cleric in the Church of England. He is considered the pre-eminent representative of the metaphysical poets. His works are noted for their strong, sensual style and include sonnets, love poems, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and inventiveness of metaphor, especially compared to that of his contemporaries. Donne's style is characterised by abrupt openings and various paradoxes, ironies and dislocations. These features, along with his frequent dramatic or everyday speech rhythms, his tense syntax and his tough eloquence, were both a reaction against the smoothness of conventional Elizabethan poetry and an adaptation into English of European baroque and mannerist techniques. His early career was marked by poetry that bore immense knowledge of English society and he met that knowledge with sharp criticism. Another important theme in Donne's poetry is the idea of true religion, something that he spent much time considering and about which he often theorized. He wrote secular poems as well as erotic and love poems. He is particularly famous for his mastery of metaphysical conceits. Despite his great education and poetic talents, Donne lived in poverty for several years, relying heavily on wealthy friends. He spent much of the money he inherited during and after his education on womanising, literature, pastimes, and travel. In 1601, Donne secretly married Anne More, with whom he had twelve children. In 1615 he was ordained deacon and then Anglican priest, although he did not want to take Holy Orders. He did so because King James I persistently ordered it. In 1621, he was appointed the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London. He also served as a member of Parliament in 1601 and in 1614.
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book by John Donne

author: John Donne

Holy Sonnets

collection of poems

author: John Donne

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

metaphysical poem by John Donne

author: John Donne

The Flea

poem by John Donne

author: John Donne


literary work of John Donne

author: John Donne

Ignatius His Conclave

book by John Donne

author: John Donne

Elegy XIX: To His Mistress Going to Bed

poem written by John Donne

author: John Donne


1633 collection of poems by John Donne

author: John Donne

The Major Works

author: John Donne, John Carey

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