Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you. George Herbert was a good churchman, but his poems made him a master of the erotic. Read More. More Poems. Religious Poetry. The Speaker's Relation to God in Donne's "Batter my Heart" and Herbert's "The Collar" - Melanie W. - Term Paper (Advanced seminar). list Cite; link Link. “Batter my heart, three-personed God” is a sonnet, a short lyric poem of fourteen lines. In the Renaissance, two kinds of sonnets were popular.
The explosive 'B' of the opening word is continued in the alliteration of lines 3 and 4: The poem is written in the imperative tense, yet the reader does not get the impression that Donne actually has the power to command God.
Donne is begging for action to be done against himself, thus implying the superiority of God and maximising the intensity of the plea. The main idea behind the poem is Donne's desperate struggle to be at one with God; he feels he is losing the battle.
He depicts the bonds preventing him from doing God's will through images of war, sex, and marriage. I, like an usurpt towne. Reason, your viceroy in mee, mee should defend. Donne's imagery conveys the idea that the forces which bind him are not only very powerful but also deeply personal. To be 'betroth'd' to the devil implies a deep involvement.
He pleads with God to apply his will with the same dual qualities - intense and personal.
He wants to experience God's presence with the intensity of 'break, blow, burn' and with the personal involvement implied by 'imprison', 'enthrall', and 'ravish'. These lines contain characteristic Donne conceits; he cannot be free until he is imprisoned, or chaste until he is ravished.
In each case Donne suggests that God must act in a similarly violent manner to save him, by retaking the town, or by ravishing the woman, and thus cancelling the wrong marriage.
John Donne. Religious poetry. Holy Sonnet (Batter my Heart) and A Hymn to God the Father
The literalness with which these images of assault are developed is undoubtedly dramatic, but perhaps leaves the modern reader feeling uncomfortable. The idea that the Christian Church can be seen as the Bride of Christ comes from the Bible, but Donne's image makes Christ a ravisher, not just a husband. It is as if Donne feels that an image which is strong enough for other men and women is not powerful enough for him: The paradox which drives the poem on is, however a profound one.
On the one hand, Donne wishes to surrender himself entirely to God; on the other, he needs to feel that the self-claimed by God is still the unique Donne. The poem is both a total surrender to an all-powerful God, and — through its extraordinary verbal energy, as in the very first line — an assertion of Donne's personality.
John Donne. Religious Poetry
The same paradox is found in a later poem, 'A Hymne to God the Father'. After the death of his wife in Donne felt more and more under the shadow of a terrible spiritual gloom. As his life drew near its close, Donne devoted his talent to carve religious sonnets.
Batter my Heart is one of the products of this period of his life. Donne had put the world and the sensuous life completely behind him and was probing with fierce anxiety for the right relationship with the eternal.
The poet is aware with his adulterated life and also with God's infinite greatness.
Both of them were religious man who were applied in the service of God and wrote about religiosity in their poems. Consequently, the meaning of religious elements in literature has a strong impact at that time but over the years, the question of the real existence of religious, even devotional poetry has risen from different sides. Dr Jonson, for instance, described the problem in the way that it was not the fault of the poets that religious literature failed. He rather made itself the problem Cf.
Man admitted to implore the mercy of his Creator and plead the merits of his Redeemer is already in a higher state than poetry can confer Esch To declare religious feelings, there is nothing more necessary than the simplest expression, which makes it so great. Poetry would only loose its power when it is used to express something that is more perfect than itself. Consequently, religious poetry might not be existent Cf. S Eliot, think differently about that topic and account religious poetry not only existent but also real and great: And if so, what was the reason therefore?
How did they create the relation between themselves and God?
- Batter my Heart by John Donne: Summary and Critical Analysis
Analysis To analyze the two mentioned poems, it is important to outline the content and ascertain the form and language, which might be closely linked with the question of piety in metaphysical poetry. Also crucial is the attitude of the persona to God, which can be found out with the help of the reflection of content and style in the following analysis. Consequently, it can be seen as a metaphysical poem, which is written as a sonnet and deals specifically with a speaker who prays to God to ask for battering his heart to get it reshaped by the Lord.
Summary The poem begins with the speaker asking God to batter, in the sense of attacking, his heart to restore his soul in the following because he has engaged with the enemy. He wants his Creator to free him from the evil side to secure his eternal salvation. Form The sonnet contains 14 lines and is divided into two quatrains one octave and one sestet.