Friday, November 12, 2010

John Donne

Don't be surprised if you see a bit of John Donne around here in the next few days.

Donne lived from 1572 to 1631.  He lived roughly at the same time as Shakespeare. A descendant of the Catholic martyr, Sir Thomas More, Donne was from a Catholic family at a time when that was problematic. He moved to the Anglican church, and began to edge his way up in life. Then he made a colossal mistake -- he eloped with a 17 year old girl, displeasing her family, and landing himself in jail. After that, he had a long, uphill grind ahead of him to recover his fortunes. But his travails served him well, as they do with many men of God, and later he became a renowned preacher, and Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral. He nearly died of illness in 1623, and wrote deeply of death. He's now best known for his poetry, particularly his sonnets.

Holy Sonnet XI

Spit in my face you Jews, and pierce my side,
Buffet, and scoff, scourge, and crucify me,
For I have sinned, and sinned, and only he,
Who could do no iniquity, hath died.
But by my death cannot be satisfied
My sins, which pass the Jews' impiety.
They killed once an inglorious man, but I
Crucify him daily, being now glorified.
Oh, let me then, his strange love still admire.  
Kings pardon, but he bore our punishment.
And Jacob came clothed in vile harsh attire
But to supplant, and with gainful intent.
God clothed himself in vile man's flesh, that so
He might be weak enough to suffer woe.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello! I hope you leave a word ~ I will get back to it as soon as I can!