Happy Easter and Poem #3: Holy Sonnets, VII by John Donne

Happy Easter everyone.  I thought it would be appropriate to feature a poem by John Donne today.  The great Donne (1572-1631) was an English poet and preacher.  I absolutely love his work, though I do not always agree with his  views, especially his views on women.  I’m not religious at all; I think on most days I’m Christian by association!   And yet, throughout my life, I’ve returned again and again to Donne’s Holy Sonnets and their conversations with God, with Christ.  The sonnets are imbued with so much passion, are personal in nature yet public in their delivery. So for Easter, please enjoy this Donne sonnet:

VII

At the round earth’s imagined corners blow
Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise
From death, you numberless infinities
Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go ;
All whom the flood did, and fire shall o’erthrow,
All whom war, dea[r]th, age, agues, tyrannies,
Despair, law, chance hath slain, and you, whose eyes
Shall behold God, and never taste death’s woe.
But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space ;
For, if above all these my sins abound,
‘Tis late to ask abundance of Thy grace,
When we are there.   Here on this lowly ground,
Teach me how to repent, for that’s as good
As if Thou hadst seal’d my pardon with Thy blood.

It’s wonderful, isn’t it?  I’m sure I will return to the poetry of Donne before the month of April is over.

Are you familiar with the poetry of John Donne or of other poets of his period?

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9 comments

  1. […] I have, on my shelves, The Norton Anthology of Poetry (Third Edition) edited by Alexander W. Allison et al.  I got (absconded with it, really) the book from a close friend of mine during our college years.  The anthology was assigned text for an English lit class; there are many pages with her handwritten notes next to the poem she was studying at the time.  Needless to say, the book is many years old and has moved around the world with me.  I often reach for it when I’m feeling restless, or happy or wistful, or sad – basically any mood for which poetry is either the best cure or the best complement.  Invariably, of course, as I thumb through the volume I find myself reading one or two poems by John Donne (1572-1631), who remains one of my favorite poets.  I’ve previously featured one of his holy sonnets. […]

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  2. I was not familiar with Donne’s work and I am not religious either, but I enjoyed reading this poem. I think I might want to read more of Donne’s work.

    I hope you had a great easter 🙂

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