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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    leigh on sea


    Quote Originally Posted by CORP$EY View Post
    The first bit that grabbed me in the Donne poem above is

    'Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread
    Our eyes upon one double string;'

    Because it's such a vivid, cartoon-ish, even faintly grotesque, image.

    Then I liked

    'This ecstasy doth unperplex,
    We said, and tell us what we love;'

    As a statement on love, but also as a statement on anything that makes you happy. It seems, at least temporarily, to 'unperplex', and simplify existence.

    'When love with one another so
    Interinanimates two souls,
    That abler soul, which thence doth flow,
    Defects of loneliness controls.'

    Again, the phrase 'Defects of loneliness' for me has a more general application than in connection with romantic love.
    Interestingly Dr Johnson criticised Donne for that very grotesque element - when he coined the term Metaphysical Poetry it wasn't a compliment. He said "The most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together; nature and art are ransacked for illustrations, comparisons, and allusions; their learning instructs, and their subtlety surprises: but the reader commonly thinks his improvement dearly bought, and, though he sometimes admires, is seldom pleased."

    By the way - I love that 'unperplex' - I'm guessing he coined it and I'm also guessing no-one much else ever used it

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