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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The religious sonnets of John Donne is the focal point of this article. Like his secular verse, Donne's religious poems begin with the deployment of conventional genres, which the poet then develops in novel and often surprising ways in accord with his personal vision and the considerable resources of his wit. The same kinds of images and conceits that shape the imaginative world of the love poems form the fabric and texture of Donne's dramatization of religious experience. ValWeep, for example, broods upon erotic despair by invoking the image of a globe, while Sickness meditates on the mysteries of death by remarking the shortcomings of ‘all flatt Maps’. Donne the man may have made various critical changes in the mode of his life, but the terms in which Donne the poet saw and depicted the world and the texture of his poetry remain remarkably consistent from first to last.

Keywords: sonnet, religious sonnet, wit, conventional genres, John Donne

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