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Selected Poems

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,562 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Rich selection of 73 works from the Songs and Sonnets, Elegies, Holy Sonnets and other verse forms by foremost English "metaphysical" poet. Included are "The Good Morrow," "The Canonization," "The Relic," "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," "To His Mistress Going to Bed," "Death Be Not Proud," "Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward," "Hymn to God My God, in My Sickness" and ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published December 23rd 1993 by Dover Publications (first published 1952)
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Community Reviews

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Again, as a disclaimer I have not read this particular edition of John Donne's poetry. I have however read many of the poems found in this edition and therefore find it a particularly reasonable version to use to talk about the poems I read as stand alone works.

John Donne was a fascinating character, with a most interesting mixture of personality types. He was, I think, the type of character that true Christianity was and is meant to attract: he was a religious rebel. Earlier in his life he was
Judith Shadford
Finally finished, with awe. To my everlasting delight, Donne didn't turn into a stiff old forbidding puritan after his conversion. He was every bit as witty, sly, wonderful as he was before. But with greater depth and compassion. That the last poem, at least in this collection, was a play on donne/done/ wrapped around a prayer for forgiveness of sins, was a measure of his skill and devotion and delight in language. Great, great man. And poet.
Kirsty Wall
Dec 29, 2012 Kirsty Wall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Sonnets are by far my favorite poems as they contrast both Petrachan and Ovid- type writing that was popular at the time. Donne shows that without the physical and emotional connection, a relationship cannot work ('whatever dies was not mixed equally.')

There are so many other issues that Donne highlights in his poems such as religion, equality and geographical discoveries. To me he is the best poet of his time.
Jun 19, 2011 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The spiritual poems don't thrill me, but some of the love poems blew my mind. I love his elaborate, unusual, and insightful metaphors (or 'metaphysical conceits'): a suitor as a flee, lovers as compasses, a loving look as two souls leaving their bodies and meeting or merging... Finding formal love poems that aren't trite, hokey, or sentimental was a wonderful surprise.
William Redd
Mar 22, 2015 William Redd rated it really liked it
Who couldn't do with a little John Donne in their lives?

I'm trying to remember where I picked this one up, but for the life of me I can't. It might have been for a college class I wasn't taking, but seeing it on the shelf at the University Bookstore I was intrigued enough to grab a copy (I did that a lot in college).

This particular book includes selections from every style of Donne's work; from Satires, to Letters, to the Elegies, and a collection of his Holy Sonnets. I feel like it's a good cro
Sep 23, 2010 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
goode stough
Christian McKay
Dec 03, 2014 Christian McKay rated it it was ok
Reading Donne's love poems is like reading the tear-stained journal of a teenager. You can watch him set himself up for failure over and over again. Oh, and the heartbreak is NEVER his fault. I realize this is the sixteenth century, but there were poets who didn't constantly refer to the female gender as cursed, right? Guess I'll go find out . . .
M.I. Lastman
Jan 27, 2015 M.I. Lastman rated it it was amazing
Profound, very difficult poetry but there is very little in the English language that demonstrates such virtuosity. He came from a time of verbal virtuosity and one is reminded of Gongora and Marino. In England his rival is not Shakespeare, but Jonson.
Daniel Wright
Not a review; just some personal considerations.

(1) For me, the meter of a poem is what holds it together and all the other poetic devices are extra. Donne apparently regards it as another poetic device, and he takes far more care over the sound and meaning of the words. While I can't deny this is the correct approach for the poet, it does mean I struggle to appreciate Donne, especially his secular poems (his sacred poems, perhaps appropriately, adhere more strictly to the rules).

(2) If you have
Nick Black
Jul 17, 2009 Nick Black rated it really liked it
I believe that shape on the cover is an epitrochoid -- did Dover get one of the Bernoulli brothers to do this edition's artwork? And if so, why? Did they begin with a heart, and batter three salients (each part of the tripartite God -- Divine Poem XIV)? Is that supposed to be the stomach cancer that killed him?

Actually, looking close, it's a flower, presumably a reference to "The Blossom" (from Songs and Sonnets). Well isn't that just jingles. Hell -- I'd have preferred the epitrochoid, or for t
May 01, 2015 Barbara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-cayman
audio book with commentary did not know much about the man
Rebecca Lunny
Apr 21, 2013 Rebecca Lunny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2013
I've only been exposed to John Donne before through the play W;t, so I was really excited to find this book in the coffeeshop where I work. To say that these poems, especially in the first part of the collection(Songs and Sonnets) are beautiful would be an understatement. His voice is so playful that it made me smile just to read them. I wasn't as crazy about the section of Divine Poems, but they were still beautiful.
Kevin Albrecht
Mar 22, 2009 Kevin Albrecht rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: poetry
I began reading this selection of John Donne's poems but stopped once I realized they had "modernized" the spelling of Donne's poetry. This is a serious problem as it makes it impossible to figure out how Donne intended them to be read. Instead, read The Complete English Poems
Ginnie Grant
Jan 13, 2014 Ginnie Grant rated it it was amazing
There is kind of a grim romanticism, a kind of brutal honesty in these pages. Beautifully written and will tug at your emotions all over the place.
Mar 01, 2012 Magila rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-man-made-me
I guess the rating is more a reflection of my thoughts on John Donne than this book. It's ok. I saw another person comment on the spiritual poems. Personally, I don't believe Donne's conversion was a true one, and it can be felt in his religious series. That said, those poems that he wrote to woo are some of the best out there. An absolute must read for anyone who loves poetry or English.
J. Alfred
Jul 20, 2010 J. Alfred rated it really liked it
He's such a goodn', and a good selection will get you some representitives of both his pre- and post-conversion stuff. I need to memorize like all of the holy sonnets.

So in His purple wrapped, recieve me, Lord,
By these His thorns give me His other crown-

(Actually a part of A Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness. Still great)
Jan 18, 2014 Beth added it
Your most outrageously emo poetry has nothing on this guy.
Marc Lamain
Dec 31, 2013 Marc Lamain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bought
I personally am a fan of Donne's work and this small book contains his best! Love it!
Mar 30, 2012 Wale rated it liked it
John Donne surely doesn't mince words, he's more concerned about getting his message across that waxing unnecessarily eloquent with words at the expense of theme; a lesson many modern poets will do well to learn.
Apr 12, 2012 SmarterLilac rated it really liked it
Fun, and more vibrant than I remember Donne being in my 'Intro to the Early Modern Period' class in college. I don't think Donne gets enough credit for the relatively strong emotional content in his work.
Feb 14, 2008 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I just love everything about John Donne. To me, he will always be the first Modernist poet. I know, I know, he's way too early for that, but he's so experimental for his time period!
Feb 05, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Carissa Norris
Jul 29, 2011 Carissa Norris rated it it was amazing
John Donne is my favorite poet. His images are riveting and his passion explodes on the page. The Holy Sonnets mean the most to me.
I'd like to say I enjoyed this, but I honestly didn't.

Still trying to find some poetry that I love.
Jan 25, 2012 Celeste rated it really liked it
Definitely a book to return to over and over. Donne's poems are like beautiful, tightly sprung puzzles.
Dec 06, 2010 Felicia rated it liked it
Shelves: school-reading
The poetry is quite clever once you get into it... it can just take a while to get to that point.
May 31, 2007 Tom rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, christianity
From the seductive poems of his youth to the holy sonnets of his old age, none surpass Donne.
Apr 13, 2013 Christina rated it it was amazing
Something I read in high school that stuck with me.
John Donne : Selected Poems by John Donne (1994)
Jan 12, 2009 Eunice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Core Humanities 3: Renaissance
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  • Selected Poems
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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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“Stay, O sweet, and do not rise;
The light that shines comes from thine eyes;
The day breaks not, it is my heart,
Because that you and I must part.”
“Thou, sun, art half as happy as we.” 1 likes
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