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John Donne's Poetry [Paperback]

John Donne , Donald R. Dickson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2006 0393926486 978-0393926484
Scrupulously edited, the texts reprinted here are from the Westmoreland manuscript collated against the most important families of John Donne manuscripts and compared with all seven seventeenth-century printed editions of the poems as well as all major twentieth-century editions. The criticism section represents the best analysis and interpretation of Donne's writing. A chronology of Donne's life and work, a bibliography and an index of titles and first lines are also included.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful June 14 2000
Format:Paperback
John Donne was truly a poetic master. Preeminent among the metaphysical poets, his talent shines brightly in both his early secular and later religious poetry. This volume is particularly useful in its helps with the texts and its discussion and analysis of the meaning and impact of his work. I find these aids useful indeed with a more "difficult" poet like Donne. This book is a good starting place for the study of John Donne's poetry.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Book So Good It Almost Deserves Canonization... Laaaaaame pun. July 14 2005
By Michael L. Kauffmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
***I've noticed that a second edition of Donne's poetry has been released and amazon has just been forwarding the reviews from the first. This review was written for the first edition.

When I made the decision that I wanted to study John Donne this book was the first place I turned. Norton Critical Editions tend to be the most thorough studies of any particular writing with generous helpings of criticism and well annotated authoritative texts and this one is no different.

The criticism in particular is phenomenal. They are especially brilliant when reconciling the difficult contradictions between what can appear as base as lust in Donne's love poetry and the higher love that Donne aspires to. The essays dealing with the various categorizing and readings of Donne's religious poetry are also invaluable. Most every piece of criticism included in this edition helps to illuminate Donne's works and aid new readers attempting to grasp the various levels of activity going on in much of his poetry.

I only refrain from giving this edition a full five stars because it lacks any sort of cohesive introduction to Donne's life. The poetry of John Donne in particular reflects the man's life and without any sort of background information, even a few pages in an introduction, readers are essentially just cast adrift. However, this information is easily obtained online or at the library.

Regardless, this still remains the best edition of Donne available both as an introduction for beginners and for those who wish to have a better grasp on Donne's work. If you are at all interested in John Donne, this book is absolutely necessary!
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful June 14 2000
By NotATameLion - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
John Donne was truly a poetic master. Preeminent among the metaphysical poets, his talent shines brightly in both his early secular and later religious poetry. This volume is particularly useful in its helps with the texts and its discussion and analysis of the meaning and impact of his work. I find these aids useful indeed with a more "difficult" poet like Donne. This book is a good starting place for the study of John Donne's poetry.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the most profound and moving in the language Jan. 7 2006
By Shalom Freedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This selection of the most important of Donne's poems complemented by critical articles that provide insight into the techniques and meanings of one of the most intellectually challenging of the great English poets is first -rate.

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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Collection of Donne's Poetry March 3 2011
By Fr. Charles Erlandson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
John Donne wrote some of the most beautiful, intelligent, and passionate poetry in the English language! With some poets you get 1 or 2 of these qualities: with Donne you get all 3, and so I highly recommend his poetry to all lovers of poetry and English literature. The language is archaic and at times difficult, but that's also some of its beauty and charm. What's more noteworthy but less noticed than the oldness of the language is how fresh and alive it still seems and must have seemed in centuries past! While I love Donne's poetry especially because of his intelligent and beautiful passion for God, even those without religious faith will appreciate the brilliance and glory of Donne's poetry.

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.

Highly recommended!
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor Editing or Poor Editorial Choices June 4 2009
By Teop Tnomrev - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Donald Dickson's John Donne's Poetry is the best text of Donne now available. It is scrupulously edited, and equally useful for students and for scholars." --Harold Bloom

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).
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