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John Donne’s Poetry Worksheet

1. What is the subject of John Donne’s “Song”?

2. What is the interpretation of these lines from “Song”?

When thou weep’st, unkindly kind, / My life’s blood doth decay.

3. In "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," what is the speaker’s motivation in the following lines?

Our two souls therefore, which are one, / Though I must go, endure not yet / A breach, but an expansion.

4. Give an example of a metaphysical conceit from “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning”:

5. Why is the seemingly contradictory phrase “Death, thou shalt die” actually true within the context of “Holy Sonnet 10?”

6. “Holy Sonnet 10” can be considered a metaphysical conceit because

7. What is the message of “Holy Sonnet 10?”

8. Which line from “Meditation 17” expresses the major theme of the poem?

9. In “Meditation 17,” what is meant by the statement “when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but

translated into a better language

”?

10. According to the argument Donne puts forth in “Meditation 17,” how can one be affected by another’s death?

Mr. Whited