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John Donne's Devotions

by John Donne

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This volume of John Donne's writings begins with a biography of John Donne's life, as told by Donne's writer friend, Izaak Walton. Walton gives readers a close look at Donne's past, which was plagued with the loss of many close family members. This biographical information helps readers to make better sense of the somber devotions contained in this volume. In his Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, Donne concentrates on the miserable condition of man and the inevitability of death. The devotions are all structured the same, each beginning with a meditation followed by an expostulation and a prayer. These devotions serve as a preview for Donne's "Death's Duel Sermon," written near his death in 1631 as his funeral sermon. While "Death's Duel" paints a grave picture of earthly life tormented by pain and death, it hopes for a bright future in God's love through Christ's resurrection and ascension. Praised for his literary talent, Donna provides Christians with an introspective look at the nature of morality. It is from the great works in this collection that we find the origin of well-known phrases "For whom the bell tolls" and "No man is an island."

Emmalon Davis
CCEL Staff Writer
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About John Donne
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John Donne
Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia
Born: January 21, 1572, London, England
Died: March 31, 1631, London, England
Related topics: Church of England, Criticism, interpretation, etc., Donne, John,--1572-1631, England, English poetry--Early modern
Basic information: John Donne (between 24 January and 19 June 1572 – 31 March 1631) was an English poet, satirist, lawyer and priest. He is considered the pre-eminent representative of the metaphysical poets. His works are noted for their strong, sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and inventiveness of metaphor, especially compared to that of his contemporaries.
Popular works: John Donne's Devotions, Death's Duel, John Donne's Sermon Preached at the Spital, Sermon Preached to the Lords upon Easter-day, at the Communion