Monday, December 20, 2010


(Note: For this week leading up to and culminating with Christmas, I will be posting a series of seven sonnets by the metaphysical poet John Donne (1572-1631). In light of Behr's call to view the work of Christ holistically (click here for the post), I invite the reader to do just that, considering the progression and profound interrelatedness of the themes these sonnets treat as they weave through the life and work of Christ. The hope is that we might be again encouraged not to isolate, say, the incarnation of the Son of God, but view it in light of the entirety of God's beautiful plan of redemption through Jesus Christ, who was, and is, and is to come.)


Salvation to all that will is nigh
That All, which alwayes is All every where,
Which cannot sinne, and yet all sinnes must beare,
Which cannot die, yet cannot chuse but die,
Loe, faithful Virgin, yeelds himselfe to lye
In prison, in thy wombe; and though he there
Can take no sinne, nor thou give, yet he'will weare
Taken from thence, flesh, which deaths force may trie.
Ere by the spheares time was created, thou
Was in his minde, who is thy Sonne, and Brother;
Whom thou conceiv'st, conceiv'd; yea thou art now
Thy Makers maker, and thy Fathers mother;
Thou'hast light in darke; and shutst in little roome,
Immensity cloystered in thy deare wombe.

Hayward, John. (ed.). (1950). John Donne: A Selection of His Poetry. New York, NY: Penguin.


  1. Been meaning to write you about Donne! In my "Classics" book club where we tackle classic literature every other week (been SO good in dusting off the cobwebs,) we just read "Meditations" and some other short Donne poems. And "Batter my Heart" too!! Made me think of you!

  2. Jen,
    Thanks for the comment. I think I could read all of Donne's Holy Sonnets perpetually because they are so rich! You might like reading some of Dr. Holly Ordway's blog Hieropraxis ( She is a professor of English literature and every once and a while posts not only Donne's poetry, but some insightful comments, as well.