This traditional form and style, introduced by Petrarch, consists of an octet and a sestet. Any of these make sense within context of the poem. This line is very straightforward, yet still sounds self-centered when the speaker says, “and would be loved fain” suggesting that he would love to be loved. Indeed, the second quatrain begins with that metaphor, with the speaker now an “usurp’d town” that owes its allegiance or “due” to someone else (line 5). These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of John Donne's poetry. In Holy Sonnets, John Donne writes his poems in the traditional Italian sonnet form. The speaker and his beloved share the kind of love that is built on trust and longevity (a long marriage), as well as a spiritual bond that transcends time and space. The lyrical voice gets more sentimental and calm. I’m not sure who the “another” is, maybe it was once owned by God? He asks God to break the knots holding him back, imprisoning him in order to free him, and taking him by force in order to purify him. Join the conversation by. The word “again” is interesting because it means that either the speaker is asking for God’s help again, or is referring to a time when God had to break a similar tie, perhaps referencing the Bible?

Batter my heart, three-personed God, for you. Although it is written in one big block, the poem follows, as previously mentioned, the form and style of the Italian sonnet.

Divorce me, untie or break that knot again.

There is God as the vibratory force itself. The double use of the word “me” is interesting and almost seems conceited or narcissistic. Nevertheless, there are certain modifications, such as rhythm and structural patters that are a consequence of the influence of the Shakespearean sonnet form. The lyrical voice is having trouble showing his/her faith because his/her thoughts, reason, have turned on God (“Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,/But is captived, and proves weak or untrue”). This request indicates that the speaker considers his soul or heart too badly damaged or too sinful to be reparable; instead, God must re-create him to make him what he needs to be.

Batter my Heart is one of the beautiful religious sonnets of Donne written in a Petrarchan verse with the rhyming scheme abbaabba known as octave followed by the rhyme scheme cdccdc known as sestet. The word “again” makes direct reference to Genesis and the fall of men. Donne’s poetry introduced a more personal tone in the poems and a particular poetic metre, which resembles natural speech.

The harsher possibilities are brought up in line 4.

5 Dec 2012. Batter my heart (Holy Sonnet 14) Summary The speaker begins by asking God (along with Jesus and the Holy Ghost; together, they are the Trinity that makes up the Christian "three-personed God") to attack his heart as if it were the gates of a fortress town. This extreme use of paradox is characteristic of much of Donne’s poetry and of metaphysical poets in general. Holy Sonnet 14. Nevertheless, the lyrical voice feels engaged to Satan, “But am betrothed unto your enemy”, and asks God to take him out of their arrangement, “Divorce me, untie or break that knot again”. The Question and Answer section for John Donne: Poems is a great We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously.

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Copyright © 1999 - 2020 GradeSaver LLC. He was an English poet, lawyer, and Cleric. He also spent a short time in prison because he married his wife, Anne More, without permission. I, like an usurped town, to another due, Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end. The lyrical voice wants to go through all of this because he/she wants to be made “new”.

The octet depicts the lyrical voice’s demands towards God. . Julieta has a BA and a MA in Literature and joined the Poem Analysis team back in May 2017. The lyrical voice asks for this, as previously God had “knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend”. John Donne wrote Holy Sonnet XIV in 1609, and it is found in the Westmoreland Manuscript and, later, in Divine Meditations (1935). 4 Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. Batter my heart, three-personed God, for you.

Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. So glad that you have found joy in his poetry. Batter my Heart (Holy Sonnet 14) Analysis.

Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. “The Life of John Donne.” Luminarium. The speaker asks God to intensify the effort to restore the speaker’s soul. How is death treated in John Donne's divine poems? The poem start with the lyrical voice asking the “three-personed God” (God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost) to attack his/heart, as it were gates belonging to a fortress (“batter” comes from “battering ram” the element used in medieval times to break down the door of a fortress).

Since viceroy means deputy of the sovereign or master, we see that the speaker is personifying “Reason” and that reason reports to God. In the New Testament, the church is metaphorically said to be married to God. The speaker is suggesting that he is “betrothed” or engaged to marry the enemy; I assume here that the speaker is referring to Satan as the “enemy.”. The sestet presets the volta, turn, and the tone of the poem shifts. Thus far, God has only knocked, following the scriptural idea that God knocks and each person must let him in, yet this has not worked sufficiently for the poet. Thank you!

. Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain. John Donne wrote most of his Holy Sonnets between 1609 and 1611. I learned about John Donne and his ‘gifts’ thru Our Daily Bread Ministries, out of Grand Rapids, MI. These final lines depict the paradox of the faith. Knocking at the door is not enough; God should overthrow him like a besieged town.

The alliteration of “b” words in this line emphasizes the intensity and brutality of their meaning within the poem. Reason is important because God gave us reason to protect and guard ourselves against Satan and temptation.

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5 Dec 2012.

Greenblatt, Stephen, ed. The speaker wants God to enter his heart aggressively and violently, instead of gently. Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

The speaker then compares himself to a seized town. His own reason has not been enough either, and he has engaged himself to God’s enemy. Looking closer at the verbs in this line suggest possible qualities of the three-personed God: the gentle “knock[ing]” of the Father when he could be breaking, the “breath[ing]” of the Holy Spirit when it could be blowing more harshly, and the “shin[ing]” of the Son when he could be burning. John Donne converted to Anglicanism later in his life. The last six lines rhyme CDCE EE, the couplet not being typical of Petrarchan sonnets.

He requests, “Batter my heart” (line 1), metaphorically indicating that he wants God to use force to assault his heart, like battering down a door.

The rhyme scheme of the first eight lines is the usual ABBA ABBA that we would normally see in a Petrachan sonnet. Nevertheless, this isn’t working for the lyrical voice, as he/she want to be taken by God’s force: “That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend/Your force to break, blow, burn”.