May 07, 2010

Work for next week: John Donne

For next week:

Read the following John Donne poems in your Norton Anthologies:

"The Sun Rising"
"Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy's Day" (p.1272)
"Good Friday 1613: Riding Westward" (p.1299)

We'll focus on these three poems in the seminar, though as ever please do feel free to read more widely: there's a fantastic selection of Donne's work in the Anthology, including the beautiful Holy Sonnets.

Practice your close reading on these three poems; remind yourselves how formal elements (metre, form, rhyme etc.) organise a poem's ideas.

In the seminar, we'll be discussing the poems in conversation with one another, so think about how they interact and reflect on each other: what are the themes and ideas that arise from them? How is Donne arranging his ideas in these short poems?

Optional Translation

Another lady hir lad by the lyft hande
That was older then ho, an auncian hit semed,
And highly honoured with hatheles aboute.
Bot unlyke on to loke tho ladies were,
For if the yong was yep, yolwe was that other.
Rich red on that one rayled aywhere;
Rogh ronkled chekes that other on rolled.
Kerchofes of that one with mony clere perles
Hir brest and hir bryght throte bare displayed,
Schon schyrer then snowe that shedes on hilles.

yep: fresh
rayled: arranged, set

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This blog is a resource for students in Peter Kirwan’s seminar groups for Medieval to Renaissance English Literature.

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