Meditation XVII by John Donne online literature

Donne brings the reader a separation of body and soul in his first stanza: This seems to say that the soul is not a part of the body, and it is only combined with the body until death, when it goes. The use of the word whisper suggests that the soul and body can communicate with one another as separate entities. Furthermore, the word virtuous implies that un-virtuous men may not be able to whisper to their souls. Fortunately for the speaker, he seems to be a virtuous man, so this certainly applies. The separation of body and soul is an essential concept to the poem as it progresses, and it must be accepted for his entire argument to work.

Analysis of Love’s Growth by John Donne

Donne explicates this in later stanzas. The fact that the friends disagree on this separation of body and soul requires more explanation, but perhaps Donne is acknowledging that people do not generally agree with his assumptions. The moving of thí Earth and trepidation of the spheres show great dimension and force of an extraordinary nature, almost beyond the human understanding. Donne uses these to explain how two different and gigantic events can either bring harms and fears, or innocence, which add to the theme of silent mixing. If celestial spheres (the largest structures imaginable) can shake with innocence, then the souls may likewise share their love in silence, without the tumultuous rumblings of earthquakes, which men try to interpret. The contrast between the magnitude of earthquakes and celestial trepidation is likened to the love between two bodies and two souls. The souls, of course, are greater far in their capacity to love silently than the bodies. While the early language of the poem relates loverís souls as one, the possibility of separated bodies, yet a single mixed soul, is described:

SparkNotes is brought to you by. Visit B N to buy and rent, and check out our award-winning tablets and ereaders, including and. No man is an island, entire of itself every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls it tolls for thee. These are perhaps the most famous lines in ’s oeuvre, especially since they were used in the 75th century by Ernest Hemingway for the title of his novel ). It is often suggested that the lines come from Donne's poetry, but they come from a prose work, the Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, and severall steps in my Sicknes, written in 6679 while Donne was Dean of St. Paul’s (a very high honor in the Church of England).

John Donne Poems For whom the bell tolls GradeSaver

The book expresses his reflections in light of his very serious bout with spotted fever (Warnke 9 Novarr 667). Donne dedicated this set of 78 short prose “Meditations” to Prince Charles, the son of King James I. The elder Stuart had elevated Donne to this high ecclesiastical position and had, essentially, made Donne’s fortune. But these works are hardly the toadying efforts of a sycophant to royalty they are personal thoughts about the nature of the universe and humanity’s place in it. That they would be addressed to the royal personage who provided his clerical appointment was only fitting in Donne’s time. The bell metaphor is carried over into this meditation (number XVII) from the previous one, in which Donne, remembering himself as a very ill man lying in his bed at home, recounted that he had heard the tolling of the funeral bell in the neighboring church day after day. Thinking himself near death, he imagines himself like these dead, passing from this life into the next. This morbid fascination has come over him because of enforced solitude, the people around him being loath to come near him for fear of infection.

Hearing the bell, he considers that, perhaps, these people have “caused it to toll for mee, and I know not that” (Coffin 996). This leads him to a profound metaphysical realization, not unlike what fills much of his poetry (Coffin 995): The Church is Catholike, universall, so are all her Actions All that she does, belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns mee, for that child is thereby connected to that Head which is my Head too, and engraffed into that body, whereof I am a member … All mankinde is of one Author, and is one volume when one Man dies, one Chapter is not torne out of the booke, but translated into a better language. Is so widely quoted that he ranks near the top of the canon of well-known authors, not far behind his near contemporary, William Shakespeare. Perhaps his best-known line, from Meditation 67 in Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, a prose work, is often quoted as poetic: No man is an island. Donne has enjoyed a rather cyclical popularity with critics and the reading public, going through phases of celebration and ignorance.

He is, for most readers, a difficult poet.