Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The Canonization - John Donne

I am taking a leaf out of Melissa from The things I'd tell you's book and posting one of my favourite poems today.

It is by John Donne, an English poet from the 17th Century. I like his love poetry although he also wrote religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons.

His poetry is noted for its vibrant language, sensuality and metaphors, especially as compared to that of his contemporaries.

I hope you like this one.

The Canonization
For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love,
Or chide my palsy, or my gout,
My five grey hairs, or ruin'd fortune flout,
With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve,
Take you a course, get you a place,
Observe his Honour, or his Grace,
Or the King's real, or his stamped face
Contemplate, what you will, approve,
So you will let me love.

Alas, alas, who's injur'd by my love?
What merchant's ships have my sighs drown'd?
Who says my tears have overflow'd his ground?
When did my colds a forward spring remove?
When did the heats which my veins fill
Add one more to the plaguy bill?
Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
Litigious men, which quarrels move,
Though she and I do love.

Call us what you will, we are made such by love;
Call her one, me another fly,
We are tapers too, and at our own cost die,
And we in us find th' eagle and the dove.
The phoenix riddle hath more wit
By us; we two being one, are it.
So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit,
We die and rise the same, and prove
Mysterious by this love.

We can die by it, if not live by love,
And if unfit for tombs and hearse
Our legend be, it will be fit for verse;
And if no piece of chronicle we prove,
We'll build in sonnets pretty rooms;
As well a well-wrought urn becomes
The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs,
And by these hymns all shall approve
Us canoniz'd for love;

And thus invoke us: "You, whom reverend love
Made one another's hermitage;
You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage;
Who did the whole world's soul contract, and drove
Into the glasses of your eyes
(So made such mirrors, and such spies,
That they did all to you epitomize)
Countries, towns, courts: beg from above
A pattern of your love!"

John Donne

(from poemhunter.com)

I would also like to thank Mandy from My life as described by twin trials and triumphs for my "A Blog with Substance Award".  I love Mandy's blog. You should go visit her. She has twin girls who are about the same age as the Minx and Dew Drop, so the happenings in her household are often similiar to those in my own. Reading her blog helps me see the little things that are going on around me. Her daughters are cute and lovable and I think she and I would have a lot to say to each other over a quiet glass of wine if we weren't living on opposite sides of the globe.

So, have you got a favourite poem? Please share it with us.


Kelly said...

that's an awesome poem!

Maxabella said...

I always wonder in the morning "I wonder what Coo will post about today" as you always come up with something new and special. This was a lovely surprise!

As you know, I love poetry. My favourite Aussie poet is Les Murray and I adore his poems "An absolutely ordinary rainbow" and "Driving through sawmill towns"... they are magic.

Congratulations on your award. Very well deserved!!

life in a pink fibro said...

Yay you! Well done on the award. And a great poem, which I have not read before. My favourite poem is a short one:

What a wonderful bird is the Pelican
His beak holds much more than his belly can
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week
But I'm damned if I see how the hell he can.
[Dixon Lanier Merritt]

I have others, but the boys like that one, too.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Wow...this makes me realize it's been way too long since I read a poem!

And thank you for the kind words. :) And that makes me also realize it's been way too long since I had a quiet glass of wine! HA!

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