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Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and Death's Duel
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Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and Death's Duel

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  193 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and Death's Duel, one of the handsome series of Vintage Spiritual Classics, contains a rich collection of extraordinary writings, any one of which would be worth the price of the whole book. Andrew Motion's clear, accessible, entertaining, and erudite introduction explains the situation of both Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions--written in ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1959)
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John Donne, Anne Donne, Un-donne - This is one of the most famous comments on marriage, from the husband of the pair himself. Donne wasn't referring to his wife, but instead, referring to the cost of the marriage, for he and Anne married without permission, resultling in a brief imprisonment and povetry. John Donne's marriage was such a scandel that his first real biographer, Izaak Waltonsaw it as a huge error and glossed over both it and Donne's love poetry as if in shame. Even today, when Donn ...more
Dec 31, 2013 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One should pick up a book like this, slight though it be, lightly. When the premier theologian and thinker of his day sets out to contemplate his own death, the result won't be--can't be light reading. When he lived four hundred years before our time, we cannot expect to trip lightly through his thoughts--smelling the roses as we pass.

It was heavy going. It took persistence. In fact, it took a dogged determination to return to Done again and again, but I've finally read the whole.

I do not recomm
Gord Higginson
Apr 12, 2011 Gord Higginson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favourite Donne book--even more so than his "Holy Sonnets" and other poems. Sometime in the early 1620's (1623??), Donne (Dean of St Paul's Cathedral and excellent sermon-writer/poet/clergyman) fell victim to a "relapsing fever" (typhoid??) that almost killed him. Here in 23 sections (each section divided into three parts: meditation, expostulation and prayer), Donne provides a kind of meditative journal about the course of his illness to near-death and then slowly back to wellness. Many of D ...more
Sam Ruddick
Jul 20, 2009 Sam Ruddick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the fact that i can't give "devotions" more than five stars makes me want to go back through my ratings and lower all my favorites to four.
Jul 30, 2015 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My own fascination with John Donne reminds me of the attempts by others to reassure their friends and family regarding death. Socrates did so in the Phaedo by describing his life as one long attempt to prepare for death. His view was echoed and enhanced by Montaigne who, In his essay titled “That to Study Philosophy is to Learn to Die,” turns to mortality and points to the understanding of death as a prerequisite for the understanding of life, for the very art of living.
"[L]et us learn bravely
Inna Shpitzberg

"No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."

Совершенно прекрасная вещь.

«Ни один человек не остров, замкнутый в себе, каждый человек – это кусок
Emily Cook
When the body is failing and the soul needs steak, this is the book for the Christian.

Some of the concepts in here were too much for me to grasp, but what I did grasp, I will carry with my through the rest of this life.

(the book is free in ibooks)

"But whether the gate of my prison be opened with an oiled key (by a gentle and preparing sickness), or the gate be hewn down by a violent death, or the gate be burnt down by a raging and frantic fever, a gate into heaven I shall have, for from the Lord
Douglas Dalrymple
Aug 08, 2014 Douglas Dalrymple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Donne’s prose is better than his poetry, I think. He’s not Thomas Browne or Robert Burton, but this is a very fine book. For more, see my blog post:
May 28, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't imagine a more amazing premise for writing a book than John Donne's reflections during his sickness. He manages to be both dark and hopeful at the same time, not turning his head away from death or laughing in a vain attempt to forget it's presence, but taking it head on. Death is something that actually unites people for as much as people say we die alone, and indeed, life could not exist without death. There are a lot of great quotes and metaphors in here, and I think this one is my fa ...more
Apr 12, 2012 Tammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent devotional, particularly during Lent. The twenty-three devotions are best read at one per day so that one may fully meditate on the powerful images Donne employs. "Death's Duel" is an excellent Good Friday mediation, which works to conclude the most difficult days of Lent (the end), and helps one remember the purpose of self-denial during Lent. This particular edition is written in a style that is easy to read for twenty-first century readers.
Carsten Thomsen
Aug 02, 2010 Carsten Thomsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These meditations and prayers of John Donne are a difficult read - but worth the effort - most of us try to deny the reality of death by almost any means - here is a man struggling to accept death - struggling to find peace while life is slipping away - drawing out important spiritual lessons in the midst of suffering.
This was a lot better than I expected. This edition include Izaak Walton's biography of Donne at the beginning and Donne's sermon "Death's Duel" at the end.

Some good quotes here:
This book was written when Donne was ill, and if you're only familiar with his raunchy love poems, it'll come as a bit of a shock. It's beautiful, however, and thought provoking, and real spiritual food.
Feb 05, 2013 Keith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tough to get through, a bit repetitive, but a great insight into how he viewed disease and the human condition (as well as its cure: death and resurrection).
Dec 18, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure I would enjoy a book of devotions, but this is one of those penetrating and subtle reads that hit me after I was done.
Jan 26, 2012 Celeste rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
I know I didn't give this nearly enough time and attention, but his poetry struck me much more than these meditations.
"Death's Duel" is a sermon and a powerful one. It's considered to be his last. Strong conclusion.
Sep 24, 2012 Ms.Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
gotta love donne. but you have to be in the right time/place to read it. not too much noise.
Nikolay Nikiforov
Striking metaphors, not all that scholarly and "metaphysical" really.
Morris Nelms
Mar 23, 2009 Morris Nelms rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read all of it, but what I have read was outstanding.
Read for class: Lit & Medicine.
lindafay marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2016
Carrie Hert
Carrie Hert rated it it was amazing
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Apr 16, 2016
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Apr 12, 2016
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Apr 11, 2016
Taschauna Ricardo
Taschauna Ricardo rated it liked it
Apr 04, 2016
Mario Contreras
Mario Contreras rated it liked it
Apr 02, 2016
David R. Norman
David R. Norman rated it it was amazing
Apr 01, 2016
Robert Tessmer
Robert Tessmer rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2016
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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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“All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated... As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all... No man is an island, entire of itself... any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” 20 likes
“If I were but mere dust and ashes I might speak unto the Lord, for the Lord's hand made me of this dust, and the Lord's hand shall re-collect these ashes; the Lord's hand was the wheel upon which this vessel of clay was framed, and the Lord's hand is the urn in which these ashes shall be preserved. I am the dust and the ashes of the temple of the Holy Ghost, and what marble is so precious? But I am more than dust and ashes: I am my best part, I am my soul. And being so, the breath of God, I may breathe back these pious expostulations to my God:” 2 likes
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