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Creator / John Donne

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If yet I have not all thy love.
Dear, I shall never have thee all;
John Donne, Lover's Infiniteness

John Donne (22 January 1572 – 31 March 1631) was an English poet and one of the most prominent figures of a group of poets known as the "metaphysical poets". He was born into a recusant Catholic family, but he eventually converted to the Anglican faith and became one of its clerics.

He inspired poets like T. S. Eliot, and also the title of the Ernest Hemingway novel For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Tropes associated with John Donne:

  • Author Tract: His later poems are like this as he began to worry about death. Then again, most poetry is this anyway.
  • Back from the Dead: The poem "Death, be not proud", which functions as a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the embodiment of death itself, ends with this.
    One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
    And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
  • Blasphemous Boast: His dismissal of the sun, and the entire natural order, as being insignificant in comparison to the microcosm of two lovers.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A big believer in it, specifically of sickness reflecting a person's inner sin. His famous phrases, "No man is an island" and "For whom the bell tolls" (both from the same work, "Meditation XVII"), were all about this.
  • My Girl Is a Slut: Many of his poems and essays are about how wonderful women are who sleep around. Seeing as how this is John Donne, an Unreliable Narrator by nature, it's difficult to tell whether he was being serious or sarcastic. Throughout history, people have argued both ways.
  • Seduction Lyric: Donne clearly enjoyed getting explicitly seductive in his poems. For example, "To His Mistress Going to Bed" is evidently set after seduction has been largely accomplished (Licence my roving hands, and let them go, Before, behind, between, above, below...), but "The Flea" is a sneaky seduction poem that suggests that the poet isn't asking for anything more dishonourable than a flea-bite.