John Donne (1573-1621)
“Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to others, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.” (The Good Morrow)
The last decade of the sixteenth century represents the poems of John Donne, possessed one of the keenest most powerful and intellectual person of the time. His early manhood was largely wasted in dissolute way of life. He studied theology and law from Oxford and Cambridge and joined in military service. It was during this period that he wrote his love poems. Then while living with his wife and children he moved into religious poet. He entered the Church became famous as one of the most eloquent preachers. King James I promoted Donne as the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1621.
The general characteristic of Donne’s poetry is the remarkable combination of forceful intellectuality with the lyric form and spirit. Whether true poetry or mere intellectual cleverness is the predominant element may be questioned. To many readers Donne’s verse gives a unique attraction. Its certain peculiarities are outstanding.
1. By a process of extreme large and minute elaboration Donne carries the Elizabethan concepts, what Dr. Samuel Johnson described as “enormous and disgusting hyperboles”.
2. He draws the material of his figures of speech from highly unpoetical sources, especially from the science and school-knowledge of the time. The material is abstract, but Donne gives it full poetic concept. Thus he speaks of one spirit overtaking another at death as one bullet shot out of a gun may overtake another which has lost its velocity earlier. It was because of these last two characteristics that Dr. Johnson applied to Donne and his followers the clumsy name of ‘Metaphysical’ poets. ‘Fantastic’ would have been a better word.
3. Donne generally followed faint and rhythmical ideas of his own for nearly in every poem.
4. In his love poems, while his sentiment is often ‘Petrarchan’. He also emphasizes the English note of independence, describing on the fickleness of woman.
About the paintings visit “South Coast Gallery“:
Perhaps the best of his works is An Anatomy of the World (1611) an elegy. Others are Epithalamium (1613), Progress of the Soul (1601) and Divine Poems. Collections of his poems appeared in 1633 and 1649. He exercised a strong influence on literature for over half a century after his death.
Andrew Marvell (1621–1678)
“But at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near.”
Educated in Cambridge and thereafter travelled in various continental countries. He sat into the parliament and known as a powerful and fearless political writer. After the restoration he wrote against the government. He was also the author of Historical Essay Regarding General Councils. His controversial poetic style was lively and vigorous. His fame rests on his poems which though few, have many of the highest poetical qualities. Among the best known are The Emigrants in the Bermudas, The Nymph complaining for the Death of her Fawn, Thoughts in a Garden, and Horatian Ode on Cromwell’s Return from Ireland.
He saved his friend Milton (The author of ‘Paradise Lost’) from royal wrath of execution. Because of Milton was a republican. Marvell also wrote some lines in praise of ‘Paradise Lost’ which published in the second edition of the book. T.S. Eliot praises Marvell for his poetry.
George Herbert (1593 – 1633)
“Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything.” (Love – III)
Herbert wrote ‘the Temple’ and ‘Virtue’. He belonged to the metaphysical school and was mainly preoccupied with the religious themes.