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)