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John Donne's Poetry Paperback – Nov 1 2006
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About the Author
Donald R. Dickson is Professor of English at Texas A&M University. He is the author of Tessera of Antilia: Utopian Brotherhoods & Secret Societies in the Early Seventeenth Century and The Fountain of Living Waters: The Typology of the Waters of Life in Herbert, Vaughn, and Traherne. He is co-editor of Of Paradise and Light: Essays on Henry Vaughn and John Milton in Honor of Alan Rudrum, and The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne: The Anniversaries, Epicedes, and Obsequies.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Donne's greatness as a poet is in part in his making passionate argument of ideas, in his fusing the world of sense and idea in startling combinations. His poems of Love and of Death are among the most profound and moving in the language.
If you're able to keep up with Donne's poetry, you'll discover startling phrases and juxtapositions which were frowned upon in ages past but which I find helps invigorate the modern reader. Whether your primary way of apprehending poetry is religious, intellectual, or aesthetic, Donne will be a delight to you as it does me. Donne's poetry also has a very personal association with me: when I was courting my wife and in the early years of my marriage, I would read her the poetry of Donne and George Herbert. She not only loved the poetry but loved me more for having read it to her!
This Norton Edition is the definitive collection of Donne's poetry, and at a decent price. Not only have the poems been based on the best manuscripts but there is also an abundance of critical apparatuses. "Donne and Metaphysical Poetry" includes seven seventeenth-century views by his contemporaries. "Satires, Elegies, and Verse Letters" includes seven selections that offer social and literary context for and insights into Donne's frequently overlooked early poems. "Songs and Sonnets" features six analyses of Donne's love poetry. "Holy Sonnets/Divine Poems" explores Donne's struggles as a Christian in four essays. A chronology of Donne's life and work is also included.
Harold Bloom is wrong. Period.
If you, as a reader, value Donne's own editorial punctuation - his indications as to how the meter of the poem should be read - don't buy this book. Dickson is inconsistent. He notes some of Donne's indications while he ignores others. What's worse, he gives the reader no indication that he is doing so. I strongly recommend Patride's edition of Donne's Complete English Poems. For a clear discussion of this, feel free to check out my post on "Batter my Heart" at my blog "PoemShape".
You will also find a link to Patride's edition (also at Amazon).