On Donne’s Good Friday poem – analysed by Dr Oliver Tearle
As Good Friday approaches, we thought we’d share this Good Friday poem by the metaphysical poet John Donne (1572-1631), and offer a few brief notes towards an analysis of this poem, written in rhyming couplets, which sees Donne meditating on the spiritual aspects of Easter and the Crucifixion.
Good Friday 1613. Riding Westward
Let mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other Spheares, by being growne
Subject to forraigne motion, lose their owne,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey:
Pleasure or businesse, so, our Soules admit
For their first mover, and are whirld by it.
Hence is’t, that I am carryed towards the West
This day, when my Soules forme bends toward the East.