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The Complete English Poems

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  8,142 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Introduced and updated by Robin Hamilton. Cover slightly scuffed and marked through use..Softback,Ex-Library,with usual stamps markings, ,in good all-round condition,no dust jacket,485pages.
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 688 pages
Published August 25th 1977 by Penguin Books (first published 1633)
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Dec 20, 2012 Warwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
A friend of mine who's learning English has been reading sci-fi hit To Your Scattered Bodies Go, and they asked me in passing why the title is the way it is: some kind of quotation? English graduate Warwick sprang into action, because this is a sonnet whose opening lines I have had by heart since the first time I read it:

At the round earths imagin'd corners, blow
Your trumpets, Angells, and arise, arise
From death, you numberlesse infinities
Of soules, and to your scattred bodies goe…

…although I fo
Robert Browning
Mar 07, 2011 Robert Browning rated it it was amazing
John Donne is, with apologies to my unintentional namesake, my absolute favorite poet. He covers all the big three topics that great poetry should - Love, Death, and God - and, more often than not, he's covering all three at the same time in the span of 14 short, beautiful little lines of epic proportion.

Every time I come back to his work I find something new to enjoy. I can marvel at poems that put down Death as a trivial and temporary inconvenience, take a mere object like a mathematical compa
Jan 28, 2012 Andrea is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I took this book out of the library because I read that Theodore Roethke brought lists of verbs from 17th century poetry to his students and told his students for their own poetic deepening to read poetry from the 17th century and earlier. I remember reading John Donne in high school when I did not get it at all. But now I get it. I get it even though I don't get it. I find myself compelled to sit there and figure it out. The archaic word order I find compelling and I sit there puzzling over it ...more
Alexis Hall
I'm a huge fan of Donne: like Rochester he has this rough, rugged poetical style which I find very intriguing, although Donne is less explicitly obscene, and he bends that style towards a kind of hyper-intellectualism.

But I think the thing I most compelling and fascinating is the way the passion of his secular verse infuses also his religious writings. My favourite being 'Batter my heart, three person'd God.' Such a marvellously physical response to the idea of Divine love.
Lily Calder
May 14, 2014 Lily Calder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, classics, owned
John, you beauty.
Patrick Gibson
Aug 09, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Patrick by: Mrs. S.
Shelves: poetry
I worked for the Chautauqua Opera when I was 22. It’s a summer music festival. I had an affair with a married woman in her 40’s lasting eight weeks. It was luscious and thrilling. Chautauqua is the perfect place for romance and opera. Come fall when the leaves started plummeting and the artist Diaspora sent actors and crew on their way, we parted, my paramour and I. She gave me a book of Donne—with dried flowers pressed in the pages. I now place the book on my Goodreads shelf. The flowers are st ...more
Donne's poems were never published in his own lifetime but circulated in manuscript form.


BUSY old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us ?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run ?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school-boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices ;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

Thy b
Kevin Albrecht
Mar 22, 2009 Kevin Albrecht rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of poetry
Shelves: poetry
John Donne's work is witty and full of many different forms of poetry. I was greatly inspired by his poetry, but frequently found his poems difficult to get deeply interested in at first. I am certain that I will only like him more as time goes on and I reread his poems. My favorite poems were "The good-morrow", "A feaver", "Communitie", and "Sir John Wingefield". "Communitie" especially is very intriguing, for while most of Donne's work seems to respect women, this poem considers them to be not ...more
Monica Martin
An epic poet, even if in this day and age he may be seen as slightly cheesy. However, other then Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, he is still my favorite poet! He has an amazing use of conceits. and imagery that are pictures to your mind. You can read his poems again and again and see new meaning to his world of words. Unappreciated in his time, this gentleman-like player should be known and shared now.
Elizabeth Pyjov
Apr 14, 2013 Elizabeth Pyjov rated it really liked it
"Must I, who came to travail thorough you, / Grow your fixed subject, 'cause you're true?" -- John Donne, poem The Indifferent, p. 61

"All love is wonder; if we justly do / Account her wonderful, why not lovely too?" - John Donne, Elegies, The Anagram, p. 96

"For one night's revels, silk and gold we choose, / But, in long journeys, cloth, and leather use." -- John Donne, Elegies, The Anagram, p 96

"Likeness glues love: then if so thou do, / To make us like and love, must I change too? / More than t
Aug 05, 2012 Clayton rated it it was amazing
I don't know if it still is, but 10 years ago it was very en vogue to love John Donne. For a lot of people, he was the perfect marriage of modern sensibilities and non-shitty poetry, a combination that is not readily found. Finally, they thought, a Dead White Male I can enjoy while still maintaining my self-respect! Well, let me say, I'm happy for them. I like John Donne, too. But then, I mostly read Dead White Males. In fact, I'm not going to hold his passing or his penis against him, or anyone ...more
Stephen Hancock
Dec 07, 2015 Stephen Hancock rated it it was amazing
I have not finished reading this book, in the same way one does not finish reading Shakespeare. Donne's poetry is a bottomless mine, which I will keep revisiting, I am sure, for the rest of my life. Beautiful, moving, profound, witty, humane.
May 16, 2009 Lynda rated it really liked it
"No man is an island" is so profound that it even shows up in dialog on tv shows.

Donne's English poems often make me cry.
Adria Guinart
Oct 26, 2011 Adria Guinart rated it it was amazing
This review only focus in the poem Butter my heart and it is a paper I wrote for my course in English Literature:

A triple but unique way of addressing God in John Donne’s Butter my heart

In the following essay the relationship established between the speaker and God in Batter my heart by John Donne (1572-1631) will be commented, but before developing the analysis it could be convenient to set the stage. John Donne is a well known author usually attached to the group of poets called the Metaphysic
Aug 10, 2015 Shelley rated it really liked it
Antonio Gallo
Il "Notturnale" di Santa Lucia. Il cammino verso il Natale è disseminato da molte occasioni per festeggiare. Feste antiche e moderne, pagane e religiose, tradizionali e popolari, le occasioni non mancano in tutte le culture. Prima e dopo la Natività i giorni del calendario religioso si intrecciano con quello atmosferico. Come è il caso della festa dedicata a Santa Lucia, una figura storica femminile nella quale si celano diversi simboli.

Lucia era una donna di origine siciliana, proveniente da un
Kristopher Swinson
Feb 11, 2009 Kristopher Swinson rated it liked it
2.65. This contained an assortment of subjects. To put it bluntly, some material was much better than other material. His verse letters were pretty bad and, for reasons I’ll go into below, he probably should have stayed clear of most love panegyrics. However, this began to improve in his themes on marriage (with the recurrent development of a union of souls, 38-40, 71, 89), satires, and holy sonnets. But how complete was this selection, anyway? It didn’t even contain his famous Meditation XVII, ...more
Jan 29, 2017 Garrett rated it really liked it
John Donne has the remarkable talent of expressing such a broad scope of themes (love, death, and God) in a beautiful manner. I was particularly fond of his elegies and satires.
Dec 14, 2016 Fran rated it really liked it
Makes you think and feel, just like good poetry should
Nov 14, 2014 Lizzy rated it liked it
I did not read the whole book. I read selections for the group I'm in. I enjoyed them. My favorite was THE SUN RISING and THE HOLY SONNETS. I loved how the last line of the sonnet began the first line in the next
sonnet. I liked how he started with the ancient of days and then the
annunciation and on to ascension.
The ascension was my favorite. Showing Christ as a strong battering ram but
also a meek lamb. A very joyful sonnet.

Mistress was quite erotic.

Nature's Lay Idiot um, more sensual love poem

Aug 11, 2007 Clay rated it it was amazing
John Donne was preeminent among the group of 17th century poets Samuel Johnson would later dub “metaphysical.” The term was meant to deride a poetics Johnson thought too obscure, allusive, and just straight up difficult. Donne’s love poetry would make girls’ heads, not their hearts ache. His religious poetry didn’t reform so much as confuse. It was all just so many “heterogenous ideas…yoked by violence together.” Now, this is a matter of taste. I happen to like my poesy violent.

Donne is probabl
Sep 22, 2011 metaphor rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, john-donne
Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines, and silver hooks.

There will the river whispering run
Warm'd by thy eyes, more than the sun;
And there the 'enamour'd fish will stay,
Begging themselves they may betray.

When thou wilt swim in that live bath,
Each fish, which every channel hath,
Will amorously to thee swim,
Gladder to catch thee, than thou him.

If thou, to be so seen, be'st loth,
By sun or moon, thou dark'nest both,
Mar 21, 2014 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, lit-crit
The best edition for Donne if you value the manuscript evidence over the scrubbed and polished versions that too often find their way into anthologies. Patride's editing preserves valuable evidence about the pronunciations and rhythms that make some of the poetry work: teachers sometimes value Donne's conceits at the expense of his music, which is done a disservice by regularizing his manuscripts to emphasize the imagery. There's much in this edition to recall the apparent-chaos of the manuscrip ...more
Oct 30, 2013 Sathiss rated it it was amazing
John Donne was an English poet, preacher and a major representative of the metaphysical poets of the period. His works are notable for their realistic and sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and inventiveness of metaphor, especially as compared to that of his contemporaries.
Despite his great education and poetic talents, he lived in poverty for several
Apr 18, 2015 Niraj rated it really liked it
Ok, so I didn't read every SINGLE poem in this mighty anthology, but did get through the vast majority of them. And read far more of him than I last encountered in A-Level English. I love the two contrasting sides of Donne's life: the young libertine, poetry obsessed with proving masculinity and bedding women, of clever conceits and wit, against the older Donne, worldly-wise, with his meditations on life and Death. It's an apt summary of the run of life we all go through, and Donne's use of wit ...more
Ryan Chapman
Mar 05, 2007 Ryan Chapman rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Brit Lit Readers
Shelves: poetry
I only really did a close reading of a few poems for work, but, along with my own research on the metaphysical poets, gave me an appreciation for this school of poetry. Donne's work is tough, certainly. I was baffled by A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning the first couple times. Now I can see what a rich poem it is, with dizzyingly recursive metaphors and a beautifully loaded conceit. I've never been a good poetry reader, and this has helped me sharpen my critical lens. Go Donne go!
I've liked John Donne since discovering him in high school, re-reading his poems from time to time. He brought an intensity to his love poems that was equal to, if not greater than, his more religious and non-religious poems. (It's a perfect complement to the turbulent emotions of high school, actually.) He is one of the few poets I've read who dealt with the complexities of love in all its myriad forms.
Feb 01, 2015 Hope rated it liked it
Shelves: read-for-college
Read: "Air and Angels," "The Flea," "The Funeral," "The Paradox," "The Relic," "Self Love," "Ecstasy," "To his Mistress Going to Bed," "Away thou fondling motley humourist," "Kind pity chokes my spleen," The Verse Letter to Countess Bedford, "Elegy on the Lady Markham," "Holy Sonnets," "Valediction forbidding mourning," and "The Cross"
Mark Gibbs
Jun 27, 2013 Mark Gibbs rated it it was amazing
Quite simply one of the most beautiful English love poets - my own favourites are 'The Good Morrow','The Extasie' 'Twickenham Gardens' and the beautiful love poem to his wife 'Air And Angels' and the Tragic 'The Broken Heart' I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to discover a discussion of human psyche on the nature of love - in language and imagery that always surprises - enjoy!
Oct 28, 2011 Destiney marked it as to-read
I like this book because it has a very special proper language and it makes all the poems flow in such a nice way. Many of the lines in this book are famous lines and have been used in Other book before. I do recommend this book because it is really good and many of the poems in this book touch you where it is really important.
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  • The Complete Poems
  • The Complete English Poems
  • Poems and Prose
  • The Complete Poetry
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Metaphysical Poets
  • The Complete Poems
  • Poetry (Norton Critical Editions)
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Major Works
  • Collected Poems
  • Robert Browning's Poetry
  • The Complete Poems
  • Complete Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • The Complete Sonnets and Poems
John Donne was an English poet, preacher and a major representative of the metaphysical poets of the period. His works are notable for their realistic and sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and inventiveness of metaphor, especially as compared to that of ...more
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“I am two fools, I know,
For loving, and for saying so.”
“Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.”
More quotes…