Critical Views on John Donne

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Erotic Poetry - Achsah Guibbory

- He communicates the sense that passion cannot be contained within regular iambic feet.

- Donne is describing love as it really is, from experience.

- He sought to capture the most unsettling and mysterious experience of human life and love.

- He writes as if discovering a new emotional world of desire, one whose terrain has never been explored before.

- He brings the reader into his poetry by writing recognisably, as most of us have been there, or hope to be.

- He brings love's philosophy down to earth, grounding it in concrete material experience.

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John Donne - Achsah Guibbory

- Donne's poems expressed a strong independent spirit.

- The poems took a sceptical stance toward many recieved ideas and seemed written in a 'new made idiome'.

- Part of Donne's freshness comes from his intense analysis of important aspects of human experience such as:

          - the desire for love,

          - the desire to be purged of imperfection or sinfullness,

          - the longing to defeat mortality.

- He explores the relationship between ****** love and human spirituality.

- His poetry speaks to needs and desires that seem to persist despite culutral and historical differences. He is therefore accessible, compelling and engaging.

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Gender matters: the women in Donne's poems (differ

- Gender matters for Donne, who is constantly writing about women and gender roles, both explicitly and indirectly through analogy and metaphor.

- Donne rarely lingers over female physical appearence.

- Twentieth-century critics aqssume the women in Donne's poems to be:

          - a shadowy figure,

          - the object of male desire,

          - a pretext for self-fashioning,

          - a metaphor for the poets professional aspirations,

          - a sex object to be circulated for the titilation and amusement of Donne's male coterie.

- His attitudes towards women, sexuality, and gender becomes more multi-faceted, more complicated, and less predictable than it might first seem.

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