Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Friday, June 04, 2010

John Donne

Have just - finally! - finished a book about the poet. Am not about to suggest anyone else reads it but wanted to record the things which struck me most. The quotes are:

"His mind would dart off on errands of its own" (reminds me of John).

Getting something into a commendatory poem was like: "getting a jet engine into a house. The wonder is that Donne tried at all, not that, once inside, it blew the poem apart."

"Donne's poems will not stay still, or stay shut."

"Donne, who was able to feel in two minds about almost anything..."

I was interested to realise that while it was a slog to read it, and the above is all I have wanted to retain of the whole book, I do feel I gained more of an understanding of them and him and his times than if I'd just been given the cherry-picked bits. A nice reassurance in these days of instant gratification - the slow road (reading) really can be the best one!