The magnificent Seventeenth-Century metaphysical poet John Donne created new forms of lyric, satire, erotic poems, and religious verse that left poetry in English forever changed. From his famously sensual love poems to his equally passionate and powerful Holy Sonnets, Donne’s forceful language and ingenious wit encompass a remarkable range of tones.
His poetry reflects every stage of his personal development, from the piratical Jack Donne who sailed with Sir Walter Ralegh against the Spaniards and spent riotous nights in the London streets, to the penitent John Donne who became Dean of St. Paul’s and the most celebrated preacher of his age. His independence of view, compact manner of expressing conflicting moods, impassioned paradoxes, and outbreakes of cynicism and wry humor make his work particularly appealing to modern readers.
This edition, compiled and introduced by C. A. Patrides, is recognized as the most complete and scholarly one-volume collection of Donne’s Complete English Poems available.
John Donne was born into a Catholic family in 1572. After a conventional education at Hart Hall, Oxford, and Lincoln’s Inn, he took part in the Earl of Essex’s expedition to the Azores in 1597. He secretly married Anne More… More about John Donne