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John Donne
Birth: 1573
Death: Mar. 31, 1631

Poet, Clergyman. Having converted from Roman Catholicism in his early adulthood, Donne became a prominent Anglican minister and in 1621 was named Dean of St. Paul's, one of the highest positions in the Anglican hierarchy. Because Donne's poetry was not published until after his death, making it impossible to date most of the poems, it is not surprising that some people would suggest that the love poetry must have been written when he was a young bachelor and the religious poetry after he was a serious minister, a theory sparked by Donne's own description in a letter of "Jack Donne," the young man about town, and the later "Dr. Donne, Dean of St. Paul's." Most Donne scholars believe, however, that such a dichotomy is simplistic and that he may well have written the love poetry at the same time he was writing religious poetry. The sensibility and the kinds of imagery are consistent in all of his poetry. Donne's poetry represented a strong break in the English lyric tradition, marking the beginning of what was later called the metaphysical school, poetry characterized by intellectual argument, wit, and use of metaphysical conceits, unusual comparisons often employing mundane objects to convey spiritual or emotional ideas. Donne used religious imagery in his love poetry (e.g., the "canonization"of lovers) and sexual imagery in his religious poetry (e.g., asking God to rape him), imagery that might have seemed blasphemous if attempted by a lesser poet. Donne suffered bouts of depression throughout his life and seemed to have an obsession with death, preaching what has been called his own funeral sermon and commissioning the painting of his portrait in a funeral shroud a few weeks before his death. The portrait was used by Nicholas Stone in creating the white marble statue of Donne that stands in St. Paul's, the only monument in St. Paul's to survive The Great Fire of 1666. (bio by: NatalieMaynor) 
 
Burial:
Saint Paul's Cathedral
London
City of London
Greater London, England
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
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John Donne
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John Donne
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John Donne
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