Sophisticated wit and intense emotion, religious fervor and erotic sensuality, delight in life’s pleasures and fascination with death, are all to be found in the paradoxical poetry of John Donne. One of the foremost metaphysical poets, Donne’s ingenious metaphors and inspired use of language has earned him affection and reverence in near equal measure to Shakespeare. This collection of his finest poetry showcases the diverse range of his work, and includes "Death Be Not Proud", "A Hymn to God the Father", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Go Catch a Falling Star", "The Flea", and "To His Mistress Going to Bed".
The best readers of poetry don't recite it; they enact it, taking on the character of the narrator. The poetry of Metaphysical poet John Donne - once ranked with the works of Shakespeare and Milton - has at least two facets, so it's fitting that this production has two narrators. Geoffrey Whitehead brings out the passion of Donne's religious poetry, particularly the selections from the Holy Sonnets, and Will Keen specializes in the poems about love and sensuality. The two voices are very different, echoing the dualism that is one of Donne's hallmarks. Both men remind us of the intense feeling that underlies the formalism of seventeenth-century English poetry at its best.
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