Jonson said that Donne 'for not being understood would perish.' Discuss the role of difficulty in Donne's love poems.
In assessing the difficulties in reading any of Donne's love poetry it is important to first establish what is meant by the word difficult. Donne's poetry offers different levels of interpretation. Some seemingly simple phrases can have underlying sub-levels of meaning. Another difficulty is his use of imagery. Some of the imagery seems as though
showed first 75 words of 2934 total
showed last 75 words of 2934 total
reader feeling that the understanding of his poetry and love in general are both worth waiting for.
Word Count: 2847.
The Songs and Sonets of John Donne, ed. Theodore Redpath, (London: Methuen, 1983).
Ezra Pound, An ABC of Reading, (London, 1934).
Donne: Songs and Sonets: A Casebook ed. Julian Lovelock, (London: Macmillan Press, 1979).
Buxton, John, Elizabethan Taste, (London: Macmillan, 1965)
Shakespeare, William, The Complete Works, ed. Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, (Oxford University Press, 1988)