The Complete English Poems   -     By: John Donne
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The Complete English Poems

Penguin Books / 1977 / Paperback

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'The first poet in the world in some things', is how John Donne was described by his contemporary Ben Jonson. Yet it is only this century that Donne has been indisputably established as a great poet - and even, many feel, the greatest love poet of them all. Johnson went on to remark that 'That Done, for not keeping of an accent, deserved hanging', yet Donne's rhythms, once thought 'unmusical' are now recognized as the natural rhythms of the speaking voice; his 'eccentricity' as a complex of self-doubt; his 'obscurity' the reflection of a brilliantly learned and allusive mind. Poets such as Eliot and Empson have found Donne's poetry profoundly attuned to our modern age, while Yeats' glowing comment will always be true: 'the intricacy and subtlety of his imagination are the length and depth of the furrow made by his passion.'
This volume, superbly edited by Professor Smith, is the first complete edition to make a serious attempt to guide the reader closely through the complexities of Donne's poetry. Considerable attention has been paid to the text, and a selection of the important manuscript variants are included. This edition is also the first to make use of the newly discovered manuscript of the verse letter to LAdy Carey and Mistress Essex Rich.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 680
Vendor: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 1977
ISBN: 0140422099
ISBN-13: 9780140422092
UPC: 051488016007
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

'The first poet in the world in some things', is how John Donne was described by his contemporary Ben Jonson.

Yet it is only this century that Donne has been indisputably established as a great poet—and even, many feel, the greatest love poet of them all. Jonson went on to remark that 'That Donne, for not keeping of an accent, deserved hanging', yet Donne's rhythms, once thought 'unmusical' are now recognized as the natural rhythms of the speaking voice; his 'eccentricity' as a complex self-doubt; his 'obscurity' the reflection of a brilliantly learned and allusive mind. Poets such as Eliot and Empson have found Donne's poetry profoundly attuned to our modern age, while Yeats' glowing comment will always be true: 'the intricacy and subtlety of his imagination are the length and depth of the furrow made by his passion.'

This volume, superbly edited by Professor Smith, is the first complete edition to make a serious attempt to guide the reader closely through the complexities of Donne's poetry. Considerable attention has been paid to the text, and a selection of the important manuscript variants are included. This edition is also the first to make use of the newly discovered manuscript of the verse letter to Lady Carey and Mistress Essex Rich.

Author Bio

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 in December 1601, and was imprisoned by her father, Sir George, in the Fleet two months later. He was ordained priest in January 1615, and proceeded to a Doctorate of Divinity at Cambridge in April of that year. In 1621 he was made Dean of St. Paul's in London, a post which he held until his death in 1631. He is famous for the sermons he preached in his later years as well as for his poems.

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