The Distinct Characteristics of John Donne Poetry

            By Referring Closely to at least 4 poems, examine the distinct characteristics of John Donne poetry, paying particular attention to the Relationship Between Intellect and Emotion.

             John Donne was born in 1572 and both of his parents were Roman Catholics and as a result religion played a very prominent part in his upbringing, and this influenced his poetry greatly. Throughout his poetry there is a strong feel of religion. He was also an educated man and this is also shows in his work with his logical arguments and thought and feeling that goes into his poems. He often uses a paradox and likens things such as love and religion to other things as well. This also shows his range and variety of language also showing his intellectual and emotional feelings. This also illustrates how much thought goes into his work as well as feeling as it is all relevant to him and personal.

             Many things become apparent throughout John Donne's poetry however one theme is particularly apparent. This is his idea's towards understanding the relationship between man and God. Donne has a strong idea of how this relationship should take place and of how man is to relate to God and he often likens it to a relationship between a man and a woman. However Donne believes that however strong this bond between man's relationship with God and how alike to man and women it is, he believes that the spiritual bond is much stronger. Once this bond has been made, it is difficult to break. .

             In the poem A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning Donne speaks of this relationship as "stiff twin compasses” also indicating that each is always pointing towards the other. Through this poem and many other many of John Donne's distinct characteristics come through. The first and most obvious is the use of persuasive argument. At the start of the poem he likens him and his lover to a compass. This gives the idea of travelling and Donne supposedly gave this poem to his wife just before he went travelling.

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