A150 Canons John Donne Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in A150 Canons John Donne Deck (14):

Canons have?

A seal of approval given by relevant authorities, artworks in a number of fields that are recognised as worthy of special attention and respect, quality, status. A list of works whose importance is backed by some kind of collective authority e.g. Religious, critics, academics. Judgements about texts must be seen as rooted in a particular time and place - context. An attention to detail lacking in a poorly researched proposition. Note - musical canon is a musical form in which different parts of voices imitate each other


Canon means?

Literary Canons?

Origin - a catalogue e.g. of religious texts

Literary Canon means the collection of authors who are to be recognised and therefore read and taught at schools and universities as 'Major' canons





Shakespear's cannon, Donne's cannon

Classics overlap between the terms canonical and classic - they are the 'most important works' in canons e.g. Julius Ceaser, Oliver Twist

Genre - A category of artistic composition in music, literature, drama, from the French word/phrase 'a kind'







Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, born a Catholic

Churchman and metaphysical poet




Works by Donne

The good morrow, a sexually charged romantic sonnet, union of body and soul

Sermon 1618 (a sermon mad time)

Essay, prose, devotional writing - No man is an Island

Batter my heart - a Holy Sonnet


About Donne

Used religious and secular imagery in his works

Lost an irreplaceable absolute when he renounced his Catholicism

Appears to have engaged in emotional and psychological battle in his thoughts 'God is almost a lover'

Uses alliteration to emphasise his words e.g. In Batter my Heart - Break, Blow, Burn





Alliteration-The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words, - break, blow, bend

Metaphor - a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable - I had fallen through a trapdoor of depression, the oceans of despair

Simile - a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid - as brave as a line, crazy as a chimp


Poetry Construct - Sonnets

Usually about sexual love

A poem of 14 lines - regular rhythm

Sonneto - Italian 'a little song'

Stanza - a group of lines forming the basic recurring metrical unit in a poem

Couplet - 2 lines of verse usually in the same metre and joined by rhyme that form a unit


Italian Petrarchan

A poem named after the Italian poet Petrarch comprising of 2 parts

Part 1 - first 8 lines 'the octave' of 2 quatrains rhyme of which is ABBAABBA

Part 2 - last 6 lines 'sestet' CDECDE or CDCDCD


English Sonnet - Shakespearean


With a concluding rhyming couplet GG (at line 14)

A change of mood or thought either after the octave or at the start of the closing couplet - the turn





Onomatopoeia - the formation of a word that is associated with it - cuckoo, sizzle, clang

Corollary - a proposition that follows from and is often appended to, one already proved - the huge increases in unemployment where a direct corollary of spending cuts

Context - the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement or idea and I. Terms of which it can be fully understood and addressed


Conceit 1

An often-cited example of the metaphysical conceit is the metaphor from John Donne's "The Flea", in which a flea that bites both the speaker and his lover becomes a conceit arguing that his lover has no reason to deny him sexually, although they are not married:

Oh stay! three lives in one flea spare
Where we almost, nay more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage-bed and marriage-temple is.


Metaphysical Poet

The metaphysical poets is a term coined by the poet and critic Samuel Johnson to describe a loose group of English lyric poets of the 17th century, whose work was characterized by the inventive use of conceits, and by speculation about topics such as love or religion. These poets were not formally affiliated; most of them did not even know or read each other.



1572 - 1631