Batter My Heart - John Donne



The poet expresses his uncertainty and ambiguity in his relationship with god/religion


* Petrarchan sonnet - traditionally about love and wooing, however Donne subverts this with his passionate, violent entreaties to his god.

* rhyme/paradox "bend" and "mend" (more below)

* syndetic and asyndetic listing (more below)

* repetition of "me" - demanding, desperation

Presents god as a healing/mending figure by comparing him to a carpenter/craftsman

* "knock, breathe, shine"

* "bend" and "mend" rhyme, opposition of destruction and creation, heightened by use of syndetic and asyndetic listing - breaking down and "mend(ing)" of sentence structure

* "make me new" and "seek to mend" - incompleteness of current faith, speaker feels broken

* "I may rise" - modal auxiliary verb highlights his uncertainty whether god will accept him/ or has the strength to let god into his life

However use of violent imagery is contradictory

* "Batter my heart" - striking opening in medias res, colloquial imperative, violent active verb

* "break, blow, burn" - plosive alliteration, lexical set of violence - shows the harshness of Donne's feelings, desperation OR

* AO3: perhaps angry at god - Anne's death in 1617, around the time he perhaps wrote this poem AND...



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