Teacher Guide

John Donne: Poems Lesson Plan

Introduction to John Donne: Poems

Donne was a fresh voice for poetry in early 17th century England, and he remains so today. In an age when science was gaining status and poets needed to find new sources for their philosophical authority, Donne provided intricate mathematical metaphor and variations on the Catholic liturgy combined with a striking sensuality and frankness. His work eschews the ornament and poetic epithets of much Spenserian and earlier verse, replacing it with vivid imagery and his very own sort of cosmology. The view of the world we get through his poems is grounded in both tradition--especially of the Catholic faith, whose adherents were persecuted in his time--and the quirks and uniqueness of the...

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