Batter My Heart John Donne 1633

Critics feel fairly certain that one group of John Donne's Holy Sonnets was published in 1633, a collection that included Batter My Heart, sometimes listed as Batter My Heart, Three Person'd God. It gained fame as a prime example of the style of metaphysical poets and poetry with markedly unusual figurative language (figure of speech) or comparisons. Victorian readers found Donne's comparison of God's effect on his life to the violent act of ravishment, or rape, so disturbing that the poem...

On Her Loving Two Equally

Aphra Behn (1684) Feminist critics believe that Aphra Behn wrote On Her Loving Two Equally as a parody of the men of her era who were not socially censured for having both a wife and a mistress. Most of the humor of her three six-line stanzas is based on the fact that women ould not escape such censure if they publicly kept both a spouse and a lover, or if a single woman openly adopted multiple lovers. Wives were supposed to excuse or, even better for their husbands, disregard sexual...

Canonization The John Donne

(1633) Critics basically agree to divide John Donne's writing into two groups related to his life stages, his romantic, or love, poetry in the stage dating prior to 1615, and the spiritual poetry emanating from the time of his ordination in 1615 to the year of his death, 1631. However, most scholars also agree that much of his romantic poetry reflects his grounding since childhood in the Catholic faith, seen often in the figurative language he adopts to write of love and its erotic aspects....

How Soon hath Time Sonnet

VII) John Milton (1632) John Milton suppos edly wrote his Sonnet VII, How Soon Hath Time, after receiving a letter from a friend who took him to task for continuing his education instead of becoming a productive member of society. Milton was not the first poet to be accused of excessive affection for learning. As scholars note, Edmund Spenser served as a model, as did Sir Philip Sidney, both of whom had to defend themselves, as Milton did, against the charge. His sonnet reflects the Elizabethan...

When Nights Black Mantle

Lady Mary Wroth (1621) Lady Mary Wroth began her sonnet sequence Pamphilia to Amphilan-thus, which she included in her prose romance The Countess of Montgomery's Urania, with Sonnet 1, referred to by its first line, When night's black mantle could most darkness prove. The speaker is Pamphilia, a young woman of virtue who attempts to convince her lover, Amphilanthus, of the value of responsible and pure living. Wroth extends the metaphor of night and darkness to suggest danger and the inability...

To His Mistress Going To

John Donne (1669) By far John Donne's most erotic poem, To His Mistress Going to Bed, also known as Elegy 19, is composed of 48 lines of rhyming couplets with a meter of iambic pentameter. Not an elegy at all in the traditional sense of a poem written to commemorate a death, it instead celebrates the end of a woman's resistance to the speaker's sexual advances. Most critics believe Donne composed it before marriage, during a rather energetic youth. The poem in part parodies the 14th-century...

Sonnet To The Noble Lady The Lady Mary Wroth A Ben Jonson

1640-1641 Ben Jonson's Elizabethan sonnet A Sonnet to the Noble Lady, the Lady Mary Wroth appeared in his group of poems known as The Underwood, published after his death. Lady Mary Wroth was a member of the distinguished family that included the poets Philip Sidney and his sister, Mary Sidney Herbert countess of Pembroke . As did others including George Chapman and Jonson's friend William Drum-mond of Hawthornden, Jonson sought Wroth's patronage and praised it publicly. Jonson also publicly...

Since Theres No Help Come Let Us Kiss And Part Michael Drayton

1594 The sonnet titled Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part remains the best known poem by Michael Drayton. In the Elizabethan sonnet form it first appeared as number 61 in Drayton's 64-sonnet sequence titled Ideas Mirror. As did his contemporaries, Drayton differentiated between his sonnets only by number their first lines were later adopted as titles. Widely anthologized, this sonnet proves far more readable than many of Drayton's poems, which tended to be burdened with elevated...

On My First Daughter Ben Jonson

(1616) As would any bereaved father, Ben Jonson adopts a solemn, touching tone for this tribute to his dead child. While the poem was included in his Works published in 1616, the date of its writing remains unknown. A religious man, and a Catholic at the time of this poem's creation, Jonson adopts the attitude that all humans remain on loan from God, to whom they must return at his pleasure. As George Parfitt notes, Jonson held a specific moral vision constantly revealed in his poetry. He...

They Are All Gone Into The World Of Light Henry Vaughan 1655

In the collection by Henry Vaughan titled Silex Scintil-lans Vaughan includes a number of poems that focus on death. Among these is They Are All Gone into the World of Light which provides a strong example of Vaughan's positive attitudes toward death. He has no fear of dying, as he inevitably expresses death as resulting in an opportunity for humans to experience rebirth through Christ's regenerative sacrifice. Critics note that this poem focuses on the death of Vaughan's brother, William, as...

To His Coy Mistress Andrew Marvell

(1681) One of his best poems, To His Coy Mistress is the most read of all work by Andrew Marvell, characterized by some critics as the best metaphysical poem in English. Widely anthologized, this poem appears often in undergraduate poetry survey courses. Its carpe diem, or seize the day, theme, was a popular one in English Renaissance poetry, drawing on a classical tradition exemplified by Catullus in his vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus, or Let us live, my Lesbia, and love. Adopted widely, it...

Indifferent The John Donne 1633

John Donne's love poetry has been categorized by some critics, including Theodore Redpath, according to its positive or negative tone. The Indifferent falls into the latter grouping. Donne adopts the prevalent attitude that women almost always proved inconstant. Men did as well, but they did not suffer the same social stigma as did women who engaged in multiple sexual relationships. Religious dogma blamed women's treacherous nature for the ills of the human race, based on Eve's sacrificing the...

Epistle To Miss Blount Alexander

Pope 1712, 1735 Alexander Pope originally published Epistle to a Young Lady in 1712. His subject may have been imaginary or real, but in 1735 he changed the poem's title to reference his dear friend, Martha Blount Epistle to Miss Blount. They had been close since 1711, when Pope left London at age 23 after a vicious attack on his character and physical features by the critic John Dennis. He settled for a time in a rural community around Binfield and met the Blount sisters, described as...

Epitaph On Sp A child of queen Elizabeths Chapel Ben Jonson 1616

Unlike many professionals who wrote epitaphs for a fee, Ben Jonson undertook to write Epitaph on S.P., a Child of Queen Elizabeth's Chapel for personal reasons. He had known the S.P. of the title as Salomon Pavy, one of the child actors in a troupe called the Children of Queen Elizabeth's Chapel. A playwright as well as a poet, Jonson had observed Salomon on the stage for three years, and the boy had performed in some of Jonson's plays. unlike the professionally written epitaphs that distanced...

Ask Me No More Where Jove Bestows Thomas Carew 1640 One of the

Most loved songs of the dozens written by the Cavalier poet Thomas Carew was Ask Me No More Where Jove Bestows, a lyric poem set to music in various ways. It exists in several forms, with the five four-line verses bearing the rhyme scheme aabbccddeeffgghhiijj. Carew adopts nature imagery to make the point that although time passes, evidenced by changes in the natural state of earth and heaven, the beauty of a woman remains eternal. He uses repetition of the opening phrase, Ask me no more, to...

To The Memory Of My Beloved The Author Mr William Shakespeare And What He Hath Left

US Ben Jonson (1623) Ben Jonson wrote his famous poem celebrating William Shakespeare to be prefaced to the first folio of Shakespeare's plays. Although many readers may recall Jonson's well-publicized remark that Shakespeare wanted art, his elegy puts to rest any suspicion that he did not admire William Shakespeare. As George Parfitt notes, that particular remark has been incorrectly assumed to represent Jonson's definitive opinion. However, because of Jon-son's penchant for epigrams and...

Inviting A Friend To Supper

Jonson (1616) In Inviting a Friend to Supper, Ben Jonson imitates Horace but writes with an English sensibility. He had famously discussed speech as primarily an instrument for social interaction, noting, Pure and neat language I love, yet plaine and customary. While Jonson ostensibly communicates only with one close acquaintance in this poem, he retained not only a sense of his broader audience but also a I PRITHEE SEND ME BACK MY HEART 235 responsibility toward communicating with them. He...

Willing Mistress The Aphra Behn

(1673) Aphra Behn's The Willing Mistress was a song performed in her drama The Dutch Lover, staged in 1673. It is sung by a maidservant, who tells her mistress of a sexual experience with a man named Amyn-tas. Amyntas was a favorite name adopted by Behn for the sexual predators in her poetry. Some critics believe it was a nickname for the man with whom Behn became obsessed, John Hoyle. Because Hoyle apparently did not reciprocate her attentions, he could assume the persona in her works of the...

On The Death Of My First And Dearest Child Hector Philips Borne The 23d Of April And Died

THE 2D OF MAY 1665 Katherine Philips (1667) Katherine Philips expresses the grief expected by any mother upon the loss of a child in her on the Death of My First and Dearest Child, Hector Philips. In this elegy readers may conflate the speaker with the poet. Her five four-line verses were set to music by the great Henry Lawes, the musician who convinced John Milton to write the celebratory masque COMUS, which he set to music for performance for an aristocratic family. In the first stanza...

To Althea From Prison Richard

Lovelace 1649 To Althea, from Prison by the Cavalier poet Richard Lovelace is considered one of the most beautiful and balanced lyric poems in English. The famous line from its final stanza Stone Walls do not a Prison make supports a theme not original to Lovelace, that physical confinement may be transcended by imagination. Lovelace experienced imprisonment for his Royalist sympathies on more than one occasion, so he knew of what he wrote. In this carefully constructed poem he celebrates the...

Bonny Barbara Allan anonymous

1740 Published in a collection of miscellany in 1740, Bonny Barbara Allan had long been sung as a ballad. It bears many traditional ballad characteristics, falling into the narrative category. It remains anonymous, probably altered over time by various balladeers before appearing in print. It begins in the midst of action, with Sir John Graeme on his deathbed attended by Barbara Allan, a woman he had spurned in the past but still deeply loves he even attributes his death to a broken heart. The...

Valediction Of Weeping A John

Donne (1633) One of John Donne's more famous poems, A Valediction Of Weeping, resembles other of his works in its use of the style of metaphysical poets AND POETRY, FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE (FIGURE OF SPEECH), clear logic, and focus on balance. It also suggests a blend of the sacred and the profane with the inclusion in its title of the term Valediction, normally associated with the conclusion of a religious service. Donne draws on his naturally skeptical nature and inflated ego to address the act...

To My Excellent Lucasia On Our Friendship Katherine Philips 1667

Katherine Philips gained a reputation for her same-sex love poetry, which circulated in manuscript form for the most part. Her open admiration of her women friends found approval among her own circle of acquaintances, both male and female, the members of whom she assigned classical names. Anne Owen, viscountess of Dungannon, was the Lucasia of To My Excellent Luca-sia, on Our Friendship, one of many poems dedicated to her. Philips incorporated metaphysical aspects in much of her work, including...

Slow Slow Fresh Fount Ben

Son (1600) Ben Jonson included Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount as a lyric in the first act of his satiric comedy Cynthia's Revels. The play was one used by Jonson in a heated rivalry to lampoon Thomas Dekker and John Marston, who had done the same to Jonson. It focused on the theme of self-love, and Jonson created a character named Criticus based on himself. Criticus must navigate through the company of arrogant men to the virtuous Cynthia, a representation of Queen Elizabeth I, upon whom Jonson...

Affliction 1 George Herbert 1633

George Herbert wrote five Affliction poems, all contained in his collection The Temple. The first of the series, while not essentially autobiographical, did grow from Herbert's life and experiences. While the poem begins with positive aspects of the speaker's life, that same life quickly dissolves into the chaos caused by illness and the loss of friends. Specific to Herbert's experience is the reference to university life as well as that of the clergy. The poem consists of 11 six-line stanzas...

Elegy Over A Tomb Edward Herbert

(1665) Edward Herbert, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, adopts a thoughtful, contemplative tone to begin his Elegy over a Tomb. Readers can easily envision the speaker, who loved the figure in the tomb, asking gently probing questions that rise in strength to demand a reason for his loss. He becomes an everyman, a universal figure, in his attempt to understand death. His six six-line stanzas adopt a rhyme scheme of abbacc with varied meter that promotes a driving momentum. In all except the final...

Disdaine Returned Thomas Carew

(1640) Thomas Carew's Disdaine Returned falls firmly into the Cavalier poet tradition. Its light, lyrical feel is intended, as Carew and his contemporaries at the court of Charles II focused mainly on themes of love love thwarted, love accepted, love disdained, love engendered, love proposed, love rejected. Heightened emotion became their goal, and they achieved it through a musical cadence that allowed many of their poems to be set to music, as was true of much lyric verse. The poetry often...

Pressed By The Moon Charlotte

Smith 1789 As a result of trying circumstances Charlotte Smith often imbued her poems with a melancholy tone, as in Pressed by the Moon, written in the sonnet form on which Smith built her reputation. She focuses on one of her favorite subjects, nature, as metaphor for her turbulent feelings. The somber tone begins with the sonnet's first word, Pressed, a verb that indicates the power of one entity over another. In this case Smith expresses the moon's power over the ocean's tide. Because the...

Prithee send me back my

HEART Sir John Suckling (1648) I Prithee Send Me Back My Heart was published after the suicide of Sir John Suckling in the posthumous collection Fragmenta Aurea. In a fashion poets typical of the cavalier the five four-line stanzas incorporate hyperbole in an attempt by the speaker to convince a young woman to yield her heart. His tactic is to bid her farewell, in hopes that she will change her mind after having rejected him. The speaker begins with a bid that his love return to him his heart,...