A Summary and Analysis of John Donne’s ‘Oh my black soul’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘Oh my black soul’ is one of John Donne’s finest sacred poems. It is also, perhaps, one of the finest and most powerful deathbed poems in all of English literature. But why does it carry such power? A few words of analysis concerning this classic sonnet are included below.

Read more

A Short Analysis of John Donne’s ‘Batter my heart, three-person’d God’

A reading of a classic Donne poem by Dr Oliver Tearle

‘Batter my heart, three-person’d God’: a typically blunt and direct opening for a John Donne poem, from a poet who is renowned for his bluff, attention-grabbing opening lines. This poem, written using the Italian or Petrarchan sonnet form, sees Donne calling upon God to take hold of him and consume him, in a collection of images that are at once deeply spiritual and physically arresting.

Read more