Showing posts from March, 2017

John Donne: 'for whom the bell tolls'

Outside St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a memorial bust of John Donne sculpted by Nigel Boonham and unveiled in 2012.
John Donne (1572 - 1631) was a Dean of St Paul's. He died on 31 March 1631 which is why the Church of England commemorates him today. John Donne is remembered as priest and poet.
Inside St Paul's is a 17th century memorial statue of Donne, one of the few to survive the 1666 great fire of London. 
Many years ago as an adolescent studying the English metaphysical poets I fell in love with Donne's poetry - his erotic love poetry and his religious poetry. Later I discovered other works by him including sermons and philosophical writings.
Probably the best known of John Donne's words was not written as poetry but as part of a prose devotional meditation, although often quoted as poetry. I have been thinking of the quote below especially this week while feeling particularly sad following 29 March 2017 when Article 50 was triggered to start the process of the …