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The Love Poems of John Donne

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  310 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
John Donne's standing as one of the greatest poets in the English language is now thoroughly established, and critics such as T. S. Eliot and F. R. Leavis have found in Donne's poetry qualities profoundly responsive to the modern age. While Donne is famous for his religious poetry, his love poems are among the most beautiful ever written, and this collection brings them to ...more
Paperback, 100 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by (first published January 1st 1958)
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Aug 25, 2007 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poems
This is one of the handful of poetry books that I own. To be honest, if I understood more of Donne's context, I would most likely rate it higher. When understood, I found his poems to be very romantic and honest. If translated into my dumb language, some themes would be:

Hey Baby, Why Wait Until Marriage?
Let's Face It, There Will Always Be Other Hoes.
I Must Have Felt A False Love Yesterday
Because I Love You Even More Today.
Women Are Lying Whores.
I Can't Give You My Heart Because You Already
Miroku Nemeth
Jul 31, 2011 Miroku Nemeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Those who know Donne, know how passionate his poetry is, whether writing of romantic or spiritual love. A contemporary of Shakespeare, for many modern readers the rich complexity of his English may be a problem, but, like with the words of the Bard of Avon, taking the time to decipher and meditate upon Donne's lines of poetry is well worth the time. I honestly prefer a collection like this many times over to Shakespeare's sonnets; the words of Donne just seem more transparently deeply felt than ...more
May 09, 2008 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first copy of John Donne's poetry. I picked my copy up in Berkeley in the 1980's because I'd heard A Valediction Forbidding Mourning and recognized it as one of the greatest poems ever written.

I would read these on my own, now and again, and it led me to more and more of his works. It led me to more and more poetry.

Perhaps this should be considered a threshold book?

Hee hee hee...
Sara Nia (The British Belle)
"’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee."

Oh, how I love Donne. I'm such a sucker for the romance. :) Review to come...
Mar 27, 2011 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, classics
One of my favorite collections of love poetry, this is a staple in my library that I like to re-read on occasion.
Zahra Barlas
Aug 18, 2013 Zahra Barlas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impossible to not fall in love with Donne's love sonnets.
Aug 16, 2007 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: men and women of letters
I could read this book over and over again for the rest of my life.
Oct 16, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in 1998 I was a hopeless romantic. Hence, I read and memorized a lot of Donne's poems.
Lydia St Giles
Mar 18, 2016 Lydia St Giles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-tens, poetry
Donne was a worldly character, very far from the image of the dweller in a garret. He volunteered to fight and sailed with Essex to take part in the sack of Cadiz. A Catholic at a time when this made public office difficult, he succeeded in getting elected as an MP. His early university studies could not, because of his faith, lead to his obtaining a degree yet, later in life, Donne’s success at the court of James I led to his being awarded a doctorate in divinity.
The “Poems of Love” come from
Sep 30, 2012 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, poetry
Too much of its time for me to really enjoy. Donne eroticizes women, he places them on pedestals and chastises them for their inconstancy, but he doesn't seem to have talked to them much. The language and structure feels a little archaic, as do many of the references--I probably would have benefitted from a text with more annotations.

There are little bursts of humor that surprise you...and play better than the torment. My favorites here included A Fever, The Funeral and A Jet Ring Set.
Josh Hornbeck
"The Love Poems of John Donne" ranges from transcendent observations about love that continue to have resonance, to the petulant ramblings of a stalker-y emo kid in Freshman English who has a better vocabulary than the professor. The transcendent poems are worth the work it takes to really dive deeply into Donne's language, but the petulant ones are insufferable.
Michael Arnold
Jun 20, 2015 Michael Arnold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very beautiful book, and I always like John Donne. I found myself feeling less involved and interested in the later, more religious poems - the early love poems (though) made buying this book really worth it.
Aug 30, 2016 Starbubbles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I don't know, I just don't think that I get poetry. Or maybe I don't get love. Or maybe I just don't get love poetry. Or maybe love = bleh at the moment factored into this the most. I just didn't feel it or comprehend stuff...
Whatever, I gave up on this.
Sonja Trbojevic
Aug 20, 2014 Sonja Trbojevic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apr 04, 2008 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh that John!
Jul 31, 2007 Jenni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poets
His love poems are the best.
I especially enjoyed the historical parts that went with the poems. That helped me to better understand them.
Vennessa Nava
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  • Poems
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  • The Collected Poems
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  • The Blue Estuaries
  • The Yellow Heart
  • Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day
  • Tell Me the Truth about Love
  • Tutte le poesie
  • In the Clearing
  • Love Poems of Elizabeth and Robert Browning
  • Twenty Prose Poems
  • The Top 500 Poems
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  • Collected Poems
  • Poems and Prose
  • The Tudors: A Very Short Introduction
  • Collected 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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“A VALEDICTION: OF THE BOOK I'll tell thee now (dear love) what thou shalt do To anger destiny, as she doth us; How I shall stay, though she eloign me thus, And how posterity shall know it too; How thine may out-endure Sibyl's glory, and obscure Her who from Pindar could allure, And her, through whose help Lucan is not lame, And her, whose book (they say) Homer did find, and name. Study our manuscripts, those myriads Of letters, which have past 'twixt thee and me; Thence write our annals, and in them will be To all whom love's subliming fire invades, Rule and example found; There the faith of any ground No schismatic will dare to wound, That sees, how Love this grace to us affords, To make, to keep, to use, to be these his records. This book, as long-lived as the elements, Or as the world's form, this all-graved tome In cypher writ, or new made idiom; We for Love's clergy only are instruments; When this book is made thus, Should again the ravenous Vandals and Goths invade us, Learning were safe; in this our universe, Schools might learn sciences, spheres music, angels verse. Here Love's divines—since all divinity Is love or wonder—may find all they seek, Whether abstract spiritual love they like, Their souls exhaled with what they do not see; Or, loth so to amuse Faith's infirmity, they choose Something which they may see and use; For, though mind be the heaven, where love doth sit, Beauty a convenient type may be to figure it. Here more than in their books may lawyers find, Both by what titles mistresses are ours, And how prerogative these states devours, Transferred from Love himself, to womankind; Who, though from heart and eyes, They exact great subsidies, Forsake him who on them relies; And for the cause, honour, or conscience give; Chimeras vain as they or their prerogative. Here statesmen, (or of them, they which can read) May of their occupation find the grounds; Love, and their art, alike it deadly wounds, If to consider what 'tis, one proceed. In both they do excel Who the present govern well, Whose weakness none doth, or dares tell; In this thy book, such will there something see, As in the Bible some can find out alchemy. Thus vent thy thoughts; abroad I'll study thee, As he removes far off, that great heights takes; How great love is, presence best trial makes, But absence tries how long this love will be; To take a latitude Sun, or stars, are fitliest viewed At their brightest, but to conclude Of longitudes, what other way have we, But to mark when and where the dark eclipses be?” 0 likes
“LOVE'S DIET To what a cumbersome unwieldiness And burdenous corpulence my love had grown, But that I did, to make it less, And keep it in proportion, Give it a diet, made it feed upon That which love worst endures, discretion. Above one sigh a day I allowed him not, Of which my fortune, and my faults had part; And if sometimes by stealth he got A she sigh from my mistress' heart, And thought to feast upon that, I let him see 'Twas neither very sound, nor meant to me. If he wrung from me a tear, I brined it so With scorn and shame, that him it nourished not; If he sucked hers, I let him know 'Twas not a tear which he had got; His drink was counterfeit, as was his meat; For eyes, which roll towards all, weep not, but sweat. Whatever he would dictate I writ that, But burnt her letters when she writ to me; And if that favour made him fat, I said, "If any title be Conveyed by this, ah! what doth it avail, To be the fortieth name in an entail?" Thus I reclaimed my buzzard love, to fly At what, and when, and how, and where I choose. Now negligent of sports I lie, And now, as other falconers use, I spring a mistress, swear, write, sigh, and weep; And the game killed, or lost, go talk or sleep.” 0 likes
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