John Donne as a young man (1595) – National Portrait Gallery, London

John Donne’s poetry is often difficult, sometimes perplexing and troubling, but always rewarding if closely attended to. He completely loses me quite often. But I keep returning to him.

Here are four short pieces, as we experience the first Lockdown Easter week. The inability to travel outside somehow forces is to travel within, to do business with the soul. Donne certainly helps us with that. He was rigorous with himself, to say the least, no doubt because of the knotty complexities of his life and heart.

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Artwork used in video

  • Mikhail Nestorov (1889): The Empty Tomb
  • Dutch School (1675-1700): Landscape with ruins and rider on a white horse (Bristol Art Museum)
  • Robert Polidori (2010): Photograph of Fra Angelico’s Crucifixion (2010)
  • Marc Chagall (1978): Chichester Cathedral window Let Everything That Hath Breath Praise the Lord (Psalm 150)
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