Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Getting it Donne: The Holy Sonnets

Okay, I love these sonnets. More than that, I love me John Donne. I'm gonna post one of his Holy Sonnets now and then in the upcoming days (mebbe weeks).

If you're not used to formal poetry, and English a few hundred years of age, it may seem odd to you. Trust me, though. This is primo stuff. This is the work of a poetic master who's got a heart for God. (Hey, ever read his sermons?)

Without further delay--and because I'm into colors lately, as a part of the symbolic frame of my novel--I present, Holy Sonnet Number Four:

Holy Sonnet IV

Oh my black soul! now art thou summoned
By sickness, death's herald, and champion;
Thou art like a pilgrim, which abroad hath done
Treason, and durst not turn to whence he is fled;
Or like a thief, which till death's doom be read,
Wisheth himself delivered from prison,
But damned and haled to execution,
Wisheth that still he might be imprisoned.
Yet grace, if thou repent, thou canst not lack;
But who shall give thee that grace to begin?
Oh make thy self with holy mourning black,
And red with blushing, as thou art with sin;
Or wash thee in Christ's blood, which hath this might
That being red, it dyes red souls to white.

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