John Donne is regarded as the founder of the Metaphysical school of poetry. His passionate youth, and the conflicts between his early secular interests and his final entry into the ministry, can be traced through his poetical writings. The early poems, which hint of revolt and extravagance, were written in a tumult of innocence, emotions and ebullient wit. Donne then subsided into a life in which worldly activity and ambition were the dominant motives, and continued to write audacious elegies and earthly and abstract love poems. His unconstrained and fiery temperament meant that he soon became dependent on charity and patronage for his income, and he turned to writing more serious verse-letters and prose-letters which abound in metaphysical compliment and metaphor. Finally he entered religious life where his sermons were full of passages of beautiful prose and impressive rhetoric. Throughout his writing Donne's great virtues and great faults are equally undeniable and inextricably blended. In his life and in his poetry they are always present to repel and fascinate. This edition contains all the poems believed to be genuinely written by Donne.
Those which have been attributed to him appear in an appendix. The poems are accompanied by textual notes. This book is intended for sixth form and undergraduates studying Donne, 16th- and 17th-century poetry, late 16th- and early 17th- century history/culture. General readers with an interest in the poetical works of John Donneshow more