Sunday, 29 March 2009
Meaningful Sunday Poetry Fragment...
The Bait by John Donne
Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines, and silver hooks.
John Donne (1572 - 1631)
John Donne's standing as a great English poet, and one of the greatest writers of English prose, is now assured. However, it has been confirmed only in this century. ...No other body of great poetry has fallen so far from favour for so long and been generally condemned as inept and crude. In Donne's own day his poetry was highly prized among the small circle of his admirers, who read it as it was circulated in manuscript, and in later years he gained wide fame as a preacher. For thirty years after his death successive editions of his verse stamped his powerful influence upon English poets. During the Restoration his writing went out of fashion and remained so for several centuries. Throughout the eighteenth century, and for much of the nineteenth century, he was little read. Commentators followed Samuel Johnson, dismissing his work as frigidly ingenious and metrically uncouth. Some scribbled notes by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Charles Lamb's copy of Donne's poems make a testimony of admiration rare in the early nineteenth century. Robert Browning became a known (and wondered-at) enthusiast of Donne, but it was not until the end of the nineteenth century that Donne's poetry was eagerly taken up by a growing band of avant-garde readers and writers. His prose remained largely unnoticed until 1919. (Source)