Donne (was RE: Wilkins' Tooth (was Re: Introductions))

minnow at minnow at
Wed Jun 25 09:12:39 EDT 2003

Jennifer wrote:-
>> >I'd never heard of Donne when I read it. (I went out and
>> >found his Collected Poems after I read Howl, in fact.)
>Minnow wrote:
>> How did you get on with Donne at that point?  :-)
Jennifer again:
>Well, I was 12 or 13, and I'd read some Shakespeare, and I had an edition
>with notes :) I'm not sure how well I grokked it, but I liked it.


At about the same age I was tickled purple to meet the proof of how he
pronounced his name ("John Donne, Ann Donne, Undone") -- even though I now
know that because of vowel shifts and sundry stuff it actually proves
nothing of the sort -- and thought "what a clever, funny man", and fell for
some of the Epigrammes similarly ("A burnt ship", "Fall of a wall",
"Antiquary"...), never realising that he was a Difficult Poet and
Metaphysical and all the rest, nor even really taking in that he'd been
dead for hundreds of years.  When I met him at A-level and had to wrestle
with the Songs and Sonets, I wasn't anything like as alarmed by his
sideways view of things as were most of the rest of my year, because I
actively expected him to entertain me.

Which is another familiarity/pattern/unfearfulness thing.  It's not that
I'm being monomanic, no, really, just that if you look, this pops up all
over the place.



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