John Donne: Holy Sonnet 5

Poem: Holy Sonnet 5
Subject: Forgiveness; Redemption
Theme: The speaker tries to imagine how his corrupted world can be redeemed. He decides that the only way for his world to be redeemed is through destruction.

I am a little world made cunningly
Of elements, and an angelic spright,
But black sin hath betrayed to endless night
My worlds both parts, and oh! both parts must die.
You, which beyond that heaven which was most high
Have found new spheres and of new lands can write,
Pour new seas in mine eyes, that so I might
Drown my world with my weeping earnestly,
Or wash it, if it must be drowned no more:
But oh! it must be burnt; alas the fire
Of lust and envy burnt it heretofore,
And made it fouler; Let their flames retire,
And burn me, O Lord, with a fiery zeal
Of thee and thy house, which doth in eating heal.

Continue reading “John Donne: Holy Sonnet 5”

John Donne: Holy Sonnet 5

John Donne: Holy Sonnet 14

Donne’s┬áspeaker experiences the paradox of desiring God to change him while realizing that this desire by itself will not change him.

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

The sets of verbs in Lines 2 and 4 contain some interesting scriptural allusions. Continue reading “John Donne: Holy Sonnet 14”

John Donne: Holy Sonnet 14