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10 John Donne Poems Everyone Should Read

The best and most essential poems by John Donne (1572-1631)

John Donne’s poetry is a curious mix of contradictions. At once spiritual and metaphysical, it is also deeply embedded in the physicality of bodies: love as a physical, corporeal experience as well as a spiritual high. His style can often be startlingly plain (‘For God’s sake hold your tongue’, one of the poems on this list begins), yet his imagery is frequently complex, his use of extended metaphors requiring some careful unpacking. Here we’ve condensed the complete poetical works of John Donne into ten of his best-known and most celebrated poems. What is your favourite John Donne poem? And can you choose one classic Donne poem? Read the rest of this entry

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10 Classic Sonnets Everyone Should Read

10 of the best sonnets in the English language

The sonnet form has been used by many poets in many languages since it was invented in the Middle Ages. It really arrived in English literature during the reign of Henry VIII in the sixteenth century, when poets such as Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, introduced it at court. Since then poets have found new ways to use it to say what they want to say – it’s been a love poem, an elegy, a nature poem, an argument, a poem of remembrance, and much else. Here are ten of the finest sonnets in all of English literature, from the sixteenth century to the present day. Click on the title of each poem to read it. Read the rest of this entry

10 Classic Poems about Cats Everyone Should Read

The best poems about cats – and some interesting facts about them

We’ve compiled several cat-related posts in the past, including our favourite facts about writers and cats, so thought it was about time we selected some of our favourite poems about cats. What are the best cat-themed poems? There are plenty to choose from, so we’ve tried to make the ensuing list a mix of the serious and comic, the moving the amusing. Below, then, is our choice of the greatest cat poems we think everyone should read, along with a little about the poem and a link to where it can be read. Read the rest of this entry