Interesting Literature

The best and most essential poems by John Donne (1572-1631)

John Donne’s poetry is a curious mix of contradictions. At once spiritual and metaphysical, it is also deeply embedded in the physicality of bodies: love as a physical, corporeal experience as well as a spiritual high. His style can often be startlingly plain (‘For God’s sake hold your tongue’, one of the poems on this list begins), yet his imagery is frequently complex, his use of extended metaphors requiring some careful unpacking. Here we’ve condensed the complete poetical works of John Donne into ten of his best-known and most celebrated poems.

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