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A Short Analysis of John Donne’s ‘A Hymn to God the Father’

A summary of a classic Donne poem

‘A Hymn to God the Father’ is one of John Donne’s most famous religious poems. As the Donne scholar P. M. Oliver observed, what makes Donne’s poem unusual and innovative is that, in ‘A Hymn to God the Father’, Donne has written a hymn that does not set out to praise God so much as engage him in a debate. The poem is one of Donne’s most masterly holy poems. Below are a few words of analysis.

A Hymn to God the Father

Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more. Read the rest of this entry

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A Short Analysis of Andrew Marvell’s ‘The Coronet’

A summary of a classic Marvell poem

‘The Coronet’ is a poem by the English Metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell (1621-78). In this post, we offer a brief summary and analysis of ‘The Coronet’, focusing on its language and meaning and suggesting some ways of interpreting this challenging poem.

The Coronet

When for the thorns with which I long, too long,
With many a piercing wound,
My Saviour’s head have crowned,
I seek with garlands to redress that wrong:
Through every garden, every mead,
I gather flowers (my fruits are only flowers),
Dismantling all the fragrant towers
That once adorned my shepherdess’s head. Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of George Herbert’s ‘Discipline’

A summary of Herbert’s poem

‘Discipline’ is a poem by the Welsh poet George Herbert (1593-1633), who is associated with the Metaphysical poets of the seventeenth century but is also seen as one of English literature’s greatest devotional poets. What follows is a brief summary and analysis of Herbert’s poem ‘Discipline’. This isn’t as well-known a poem as some by Herbert, so its language and argument may not be as familiar to readers – hence the short summary that follows.

Discipline

Throw away thy rod,
Throw away thy wrath:
O my God,
Take the gentle path. Read the rest of this entry