Event Title

'Contraryes meete in one': Lyric Conciliations in John Donne's Holy Sonnets

Location

Diamond 221

Start Date

30-4-2015 10:00 AM

End Date

30-4-2015 10:55 AM

Project Type

Presentation

Description

In her introduction to The Art of Shakespeares Sonnets, Helen Vendler writes that lyric poetry is the genre that directs its mimesis toward the performance of the mind in solitary speech (1-2). This simply articulated statement encompasses arguments about the central issues of poetry criticism: among them, the nature of the lyric speaker, the triangulation of poet-reader-speaker, and the question of address. This project examines these concerns as they occur in six of John Donnes Holy Sonnets, where the speaker finds himself at the crossroads between depraved life and inevitable death. Under these frightening circumstances, lyric poetry serves as his sole recourse to communicate with God and plead for the necessity of salvation and the value of humanity despite sin. Ultimately, the sonnet form provides a literary interface for the human and the divine and permits the speaker to reconcile the different contraryes that permeate his being.

Faculty Sponsor

Laurie Osborne, Elizabeth Sagaser

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. English Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Humanities

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

1199

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Apr 30th, 10:00 AM Apr 30th, 10:55 AM

'Contraryes meete in one': Lyric Conciliations in John Donne's Holy Sonnets

Diamond 221

In her introduction to The Art of Shakespeares Sonnets, Helen Vendler writes that lyric poetry is the genre that directs its mimesis toward the performance of the mind in solitary speech (1-2). This simply articulated statement encompasses arguments about the central issues of poetry criticism: among them, the nature of the lyric speaker, the triangulation of poet-reader-speaker, and the question of address. This project examines these concerns as they occur in six of John Donnes Holy Sonnets, where the speaker finds himself at the crossroads between depraved life and inevitable death. Under these frightening circumstances, lyric poetry serves as his sole recourse to communicate with God and plead for the necessity of salvation and the value of humanity despite sin. Ultimately, the sonnet form provides a literary interface for the human and the divine and permits the speaker to reconcile the different contraryes that permeate his being.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/275