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Monday, December 05, 2005

Trinitarian Poem and Analysis



Holy Sonnet XIV
John Donne

Batter my heart, three person'd God; for, you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee, 'and bend
Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt towne, to'another due, 5
Labour to'admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue.
Yet dearely'I love you,'and would be faine,
But am betroth'd unto your enemie: 10
Divorce mee,'untie, or breake that knot againe,
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you'enthrall mee, never shall be free,
Nor ever chast, except you ravish me.

This poem is full of paradox. The first lines tell us that we can only stand if we are "overthrown" and that can only be mended and made new by forceful breaking and burning. Our ways, our goodness, our "reason" (in line 7), are all powerless. They are "weak" or "untrue." We need the every part of that three person'd God break us from our selves and draw us to him. The rest really needs no comment. Isn't it true that the only joy and freedom we can possibly know is the hope of our slavery to Christ? I'll let the last line speak for itself. The greatest love we can know is that fathomless, and unconditional love that our heavenly father has for his children. And our greatest weapon is that Spirit that first drew our hearts to God and now gives us power to do his will. Mike Haykin would be happy to know that I found the trinity in this poem. I guess the first line is kind of a give away. Oh Well.

4 Comments:

Blogger JLF said...

How do you pronounce that guy's last name? Is it like "Jon Don"? Cuz that's funny if it is. Maybe he's french or something?

12:39 PM  
Blogger Son of Man said...

Jlf81,
Say Done. Spell Donne.

Think Dumb.

12:42 PM  
Blogger JLF said...

All kidding about his name aside, that's an awesome poem. Freedom is slavery to Christ... held as slaves by delight in him that only he can give to us, by changing our hearts (Augustine's definition of grace). Interesting... you'd almost think that all these people had read Romans, eh? :)

7:23 AM  
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4:20 AM  

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