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Metaphysical Poetry


When her family found out, they were furious, and no longer acknowledged them as a part of the family. Due to this, they struggled in poverty for several years as outcasts of society. Eventually, however, they were welcomed back.. A Hymn to God the Father focuses a lot on the Donna’s religious context. The persona reflects on the forgiveness of sins, and whether It Is truly meant, or even really worth it. The poem also alludes to original sin. These religious references and allusions link directly with Donna’s personal context during his time serving the Anglican church.

During his lifetime, he was pressured into entering a profession In the Anglican Church, two years before his wife died. He later proceeded to become dean of SST. Pall’s Cathedral in 1621. Donna’s poem, A Hymn to God the Father, is poses the philosophical question of sincerity and reverence in asking God for forgiveness of our sins. Summary As a whole, the poem reflects the idea that forgiving a person Is a long, hard and continuous Job, which does not cease until the person dies, and Is saved by God. The poem is broken into three stanza’s, which all have their individual meanings. They are as follows; 1.

Donna’s persona begins to ask God for forgiveness. He doesn’t, however, start with himself, but with Original Sin. This is evident In the first two lines. Paraphrasing, Done simply writes, “Will You forgive all of my sins, since the very beginning’ the sin that I carry, even though I didn’t do it. ” He then admits in the next two lines, that this is the first time he has faced it. This is done by the persona stating that he has been running away from it, and is still running. He ends the stanza, by saying that once God has forgiven him, He won’t be aniseed because the persona won’t stop sinning. . The persona furthers his plea for forgiveness by asking for it for causing others to sin as well. This is particularly evident in the in the first and second line, where, paraphrasing, it states, “Will You forgive the sin which I have caused In others. ” The persona continues to ask for forgiveness for his Ignorance towards others, which Is particularly evident In the word, “shun. ” Again, he ends with the same as stanza one. 3. The third stanza is probably the most morbid of all. He asks for forgiveness of his fear and lack of faith.

In the second line, he states that he was afraid that salvation wasn’t true, particularly evident In the word, “perish. ” The persona then states that he “swears” himself by God (death of Jesus) and that He will salvage him. And essentially, when he dies, he wont sin anymore, and God will be done. Detailed Analysis Language Devices relates to the Garden of Eden and Original Sin. The first two lines brings the subject out straight away, where it states; “Wilt Thou forgive that sin where I begun, Which was my sin, though it were done before? ” Done was a strong believer in the Christian faith.

It is believed that Adam and Eve were the first people God made, who betrayed him. This is called Original Sin, wham’s curse is believed to be passed on to each generation. Humans were cursed to work hard for their food, water and any other needs, and the bond between man and God was damaged. In the second stanza, the first two lines once again see to the Biblical Allusion. It refers to when Jesus talked about sin, when He stated; “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.. In this stanza, the persona asks God to forgive the sins he has brought to others, and either done to them, or caused them to do. In the third and forth line, the persona also asks forgiveness for when he has shown ignorance to those in need. This could allude to when Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. ‘ The third stanza relates to having little faith, in which he asks forgiveness for his fear. This is yet another Biblical allusion, as it relates to the story with Jesus walking out to His disciples in the middle of the storm.

Simon Peter asked to go out there with Him, but he became afraid when he saw the wind and began to sink. He called out to Jesus who helped him. When they were back on the boat, Jesus said; muff of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt? ” The second line alludes to the perishing fire of Hell, where Christians believe they will go if they don’t repent for their sins. The next line alludes to Jesus dying for the sins of all people, which links in to the Heavenly imagery in the following line, portrayed strongly through the word, “shine. Peripheral The first two stanza’s end with the name two lines; “When Thou has done, Thou has not done, For I have more. ” This translates in simple English to, “When You have finished (forgiving my sins), You really won’t be finished, because I haven’t stopped sinning. The last two lines of the poem are similar in formation and wording to the the lines mentioned above; “And having done that, Thou hast done I fear no more. ” In simple English, the persona is stating; “When I have come to the Salvation of Christ, You will be finished, Because I won’t be scared anymore. This brings the Donna’s main purpose of the poem, to show that God’s Job of forgiving is never ending and hard, and will only cease when the person dies. Pun The repeated use of the word ‘done’ and ‘more’ is believed to be a play on words with the actual meaning of the word, and Donna’s own name, and his wife, Anne Mere’s, name. This humor lightens up the poem, because the religious ideologies surrounding the poem can very philosophical and difficult to get the reader’s head around.

Although Donna’s readers would have known about the Biblical allusion (because society was Christian dominated), it still has a hard impact. Really, anything to do with thinking about a Higher Power can give anyone a headache. The last stanza in particular has heavy Hell vs. Heaven imagery, which is quite harsh. The humor eases the tone of the poem. Metaphor The use of metaphors really depends on the reader. The first metaphor is presented in the means that the persona’s sins opened up opportunities for others to sin. Another metaphor is used in that stanza, in the forth line.

This metaphor simply means that he lives in luxury, while those he ignored suffered. The last stanza’s metaphors are the ones which depend on the reader. Done writing this, however, would have meant it literally. (See “Biblical Allusions”) Reification God is reified in this poem. God isn’t a person. In fact, nobody known what exactly He is. The persona characterizes Him to have human form, in the sense that the forgiveness of sins is long, hard and ongoing. The religious belief, however, shows that God is beyond that, which allows Him to forgive easily, and love everyone equally.

Therefore, this is technically a reification. This allows readers and the persona to link more closely to God, and find a way to envision Him, in the poem. Generic Conventions Religion In Donna’s time, elision was at an interesting state in England. Queen Elizabeth was persecuting Catholics. Previously, King Henry had gone against the Vatican and created his own church, the Church of England (Anglicanism). It hardly differed from the Catholic religion, except that the monarchy was the head of the religion, instead of the Pope.

This was a troublesome time for Catholics, and people of other religion. Even today, many of the top schools, are Anglican based. The motif of religion in A Hymn to God the Father, assists in making this poem a Renaissance poem. Love This motif/ theme, was very common among incessant and metaphysical poets. Many poems, such as ‘The Flea’ and ‘To His Coy Mistress’ have a lot to do with love and sex. The love in this poem, however, is based on Donna’s love for his deceased wife. The used of the words ‘done’ and ‘more’ show their connection, even through sin, faith and death.

This was a very popular theme within Donna’s time. Conclusion John Donna’s poem, Hymn to God the Father, shows a persona questioning his sincerity in asking God for forgiveness. He represents the people of strong religious faith, who truly want to reach the salvation of God. The use of language and generic inventions helps build an understanding for the reader, of the point of the poem, which is that the forgiveness of sins is a long, and hard process because once we are forgiven, we sin again.

It isn’t until a person dies, and feels the mercy of God, that we stop sinning. Glossary Original Sin Original Sin refers to the very first sin by man. This was during the times of Adam and Eve, when Eve, was tempted by a serpent (who alludes to Satan) in the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden was said to be a place of paradise. Her sin was eating the forbidden fruit (often portrayed as an apple) from the tree of knowledge. When God found out, he kicked them out of Eden, where man then had to work hard and suffer to fulfill their needs, for the rest of eternity.

This is believed by Christians to be passed down from generation to generation. Sin An immoral act considered to be a transgression against Divine Law More It literally means a greater or additional amount or degree. It is believed however that it was alluding to Donna’s wife, Anne More. It is also believed that this poem was written only a few years after her demise. Done that the repeated use of the word suggests a pun on John Donna’s name. Heretofore Before now Wallowed Roll about or lie relaxed in mud or water Deplore Feel or express strong disapproval of something.