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British Literature Week 5- poetry

by: Hannah Fretheim

British Literature Week 5- poetry ENG 2301

Marketplace > Baylor University > ENG 2301 > British Literature Week 5 poetry
Hannah Fretheim
Baylor University
GPA 3.8

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John Donne, Andrew Marvell and George Herbert
British Literature
Rachel Lee Webster
Class Notes
John Donne, george herbert, Andrew Marvel
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Fretheim on Sunday September 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENG 2301 at Baylor University taught by Rachel Lee Webster in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views.

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Date Created: 09/25/16
ENG notes 9/16- 9/21- Poetry John Donne - Anglican preacher who wrote many religious poems, but also sometimes wrote about love - Struggled with how to reconcile physical desires and love with matters of faith - We cannot date his Sonnets, but he seems to have always struggled with the things he talks about in his Holy Sonnets Donne’s themes: - Repentance- it should be done and should be done now - Mortality- we never know when it will happen, but no reason to fear it - Love- right way to love? Physical side of love, mind and body are connected, his love poems are more scientific and relate to spiritual life - Relationship between physical and spiritual - Paradoxes- death can die, our capture leads to our freedom The Sun Rising - Asks why the sun is coming up when all he wants to do is be with his love - At the end, he instead tells the sun to stay and shine on them - The lovers follow the pattern of the rest of the universe and love is an important part of the universe The Canonization - “Canonization” can be a spiritual canonization- their love is divine - “Canonization” can be refer to literature and what should be- their love is the epitome of what love should be - The right kind of love is more than just lust and has a divine component A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning - He is leaving but tells his lover not to put on a show about it- there is virtue in keeping love quiet - A compass is used as a metaphor for lovers- she is the part that sticks in the paper and he is the part that moves, although he moves, they are still attached Holy Sonnet 1 - At the beginning, Donne struggles with why people would be created to die - He is looking to heaven in order to move forward, but feels that he is being pulled in different directions (despair behind, death before, sin weighs him down) - At the end, he describes his heart as made of iron, but also describes God as a magnet that draws him forward Holy Sonnet 7 - He addresses the angels and talks about judgment day - He says that we can look forward to judgment day, but we must repent first - Urges people to repent now because at that point it will be too late Holy Sonnet 10 - Well known poem, starts off with, “Death, be not proud” - Donne says that even though people fear death, death is weak. He still acknowledges that death is bad, but focuses on the fact that it has no power. - Death is weak because it leads to eternal life in heaven and therefore death will die. He also says that death is like sleep which people enjoy, death is a slave to fate and desperate people and everyone dies anyway. All these further present his point that death is powerless. - Donne’s view of death vs. Hamlet’s o In Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” speech, he says that people are afraid of death because we do not know what it holds. Donne instead says that death is not to be feared because we do know what it holds. Holy Sonnet 14 - Donne is telling God to “batter my heart.” God has been “knocking” and “seeking” him which is good, but Donne wants God to forcefully break him down so that he can be made new. - Donne is dealing with a paradox in the nature of man. We must be captured by God in order to be set free. - He is once again dealing with the idea of how to embrace the physical nature along with faith. He wants to know God in a physical way. - There also seems an element of doubt. Meditation 17 - Donne wrote this poem during a time when he had been very sick and was reflecting on a lot of things. - He references a “bell tolling” which signifies that someone is dying. He wonders if the bell is for him and he just doesn’t know it, or if it is for someone else. - He talks about how the church and people in general are all connected, so when someone dies, a part of him is lost. “No man is an island” - He presents God as an author and us as part of a story (talks about “chapters” and “translators”) - He talks about different religious orders fighting over ringing the bell to point out that this is unnecessary. - “For whom the bell tolls” and “no man is an island” are famous phrases from this piece. George Herbert - Not a lot of surviving poetry, a friend published these later - Poems are very devotional and writes spiritual poems, we don’t know if he wrote any that were not spiritual - Conflict for him is more how does he serve God when he is “imprisoned” by his physical life (contrast to Donne) The Altar - God made it but why is it broken if God made it? o The physical is corrupted, the speaker corrupted it - He hopes that even when he fails, the Lord will know where his heart is - He alone is not worthy of God, but God makes him worthy - Bolded words- altar, heart, sacrifice, altar- make an altar of sorts in the poem and the heart and sacrifice are at the center of it - Emblem poem - Relationship between God and man- heart should be at the center of everything that we bring to God The Collar - Collar- multiple possible meanings- priest’s collar, shackle, anger, “caller” - Tone of the poem- starts in anger, collar is a way in which he is captured, tone shifts at the end of the poem- people who refuse to change deserve what they get, he realizes that he is not doing anything about his situation but at the end the Lord calls him and he is no longer angry - Why is the end calming- parent-child relationship is safe, he is reassured to continue on this path and supplicate himself and accept God’s will - Priesthood- collar that enslaves him like a collar, he has anger (choler) about this, at the end God is a “caller” - Priests have to put off their worldly pursuits to serve God Love 3 - Character of Love = Jesus - Love (Jesus) is taking the role of host, inviting the speaker in as a guest - The speaker feels that he is not worthy of this, but love says that he is made by God - The speaker says that he has marred creation, but Jesus says that he bore the blame so it is okay - The speaker says that he will serve Christ, but Christ tells him to sit and eat and be served - How is this different than other portrayals of Christ- epic hero (Dream of Rood), passive sufferer (York play), here he is an active servant - How does this relate to how we portray Christ now? Contemporary understanding is of a personal Christ, more similar to how Herbert portrayed him than the Anglo-Saxons Andrew Marvell - Lots of political poems and difficult - May reference spiritual some, but not really directed that way To His Coy Mistress - The whole poem is about trying to get this woman to sleep with him - “Had we this” at the beginning is a conditional phrase, so you know there is a “but” coming o If they had more time, he would take his time to compliment her and woo her o But life is short and she is going to grow old and die - His solution to this is to do it now while she is beautiful and young o Embrace their youth and the sun is going to run so keeping doing it until they run out of time - Marvell is not actually talking to one woman, he is more making fun of love poetry by saying that they all just want sex anyway so they might as well not waste time flattering women - Like Shakespeare, he is making fun of conventions - Also making fun of how people pretend that poems are not about sex and how they think they have all the time in the world Eyes and Tears - There is something very human about tears- not a sign of weakness but of virtue - The fact that we can cry helps us to see things better - We should embrace the fact that we cry and learn from it


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