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By Donne had begun to write polemics against his own faith, Catholicism. It is not clear exactly what turned Donne away from this faith which his family had so famously adhered to in the face of adversity in years past. Perhaps Donne did have a true spiritual change of heart, or perhaps the difficulties of his faith and the needs of his growing family made him accept or at least pretend to accept the dominant faith of his time.

After their marriage the Donnes had a baby almost every year, and for a long time they were dependent on Anne Donne's cousin, Sir Francis Wolly. Financial security and success would not come until Donne had joined the Anglican Church. Notably during this time, Donne wrote Biathanos a defense of suicide , the Holy Sonnets, and other divine poems.

In Donne printed his first poem, an elegy for Sir Robert Drury's daughter. This was followed by other published poems, and the Drurys took Donne into their home as well as abroad with them to Paris. Donne's anti-Catholic writing had attracted the notice of King James I, who encouraged him to enter the clergy of the Anglican church.

Finally, in , Donne did so. He was almost instantly successful as a clergyman, being offered several posts during the first year of his divinity Chambers In this year Donne became a Royal Chaplain, and within three years he obtained his Doctorate of Divinity from Cambridge.

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Anne Donne died after giving birth to their twelfth child stillborn in His surviving children numbered ten, although three died before they were ten years old. Donne never remarried, though it would have been in his best interest to do so for his large family.

John Donne

It is apparent both from his poetry and from historical writing about him that he mourned her deeply. After Anne's death, Donne devoted himself wholeheartedly to religion and theology, and he became a successful clergyman and a highly sought sermonist. In Donne became the Dean of St. Paul's St. Donne even had to spend some time in Fleet Prison till his marriage was proved valid.

He had 12 children with Anne. He also served as a member of Parliament in between but his later years were spent at the church.

John Donne | English poet |

His Latin translations and sermons are also well known. His earliest poems are full of criticism of English society.

His early career is also known for his erotic poems. However, his later poetry is far more somber in tone. His financial, social, religious and psychological struggles are believed to have contributed significantly in intensifying the seriousness in his later poems. His preferences for poetic subjects are also believed to have followed the changing situations of his life.

During his youth, he basically produced love poems while during his later years, his concern was for religious poems. His style is the most typical example of metaphysical poetry. From this drawing Nicholas Stone constructed a marble effigy of Donne that survived the Great Fire of and still stands today in St. John Donne English poet.

Written By: Patricia Garland Pinka.

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See Article History. Read More on This Topic. Donne has been taken to be the apex of the 16th-century tradition of plain poetry, and certainly the love lyrics of his that parade their…. Start Your Free Trial Today. Load Next Page. John Donne. Additional Reading. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Article Media. Table Of Contents.