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John Donne was an English Jacobean preacher, sometime lawyer, later in life a Member of Parliament and Royal Chaplain. Marrying for love against the wishes of his influential father-in-law; Donne's career was cast into shadow: forcing him to support his wife, Anne, as best he might under a specter of unforgiving penury. Despite such hardships - perhaps because of them - Donne's writings demonstrate a mastery of poetry layered with metaphysical meaning and mystery: which continues to delight and challenge modern-day readers. Donne's "divine poems" - the focus of this collection - present profound theological insights using absorbing allegories and beautiful imagery. At the end of Donne's life - as his health deteriorated under illnesses of increasing severity - his poetry served him as: distraction, consolation, and even "public confession". With them, Donne cheerfully but soberly faces the limits of his own mortality: and contemplates the mysteries that lie beyond the grave. (Introduction by Godsend)
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