'Study our Manuscripts': John Donne's Problems with Privacy

Huebert, Ronald
April 2011
Seventeenth Century;Spring2011, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Donne has been widely and deservedly celebrated as a poet who valued intimacy and who, in refusing to print his most brilliant poems, shied away from the searchlight of publicity. Still, his work as a whole would suggest that privacy was not enough for Donne. He was, at times, insatiably eager for secular preferment; an engagement with the world is often present in his peripheral vision, even in his most private poems. The tension between public and private in Donne is particularly evocative when (in the erotic poetry) he uses the metaphor of pregnancy, and when (in the religious writings) he seeks to establish and maintain an intimate relationship with God.


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