We’ll address three topics in class:

  1. Discuss John Donne’s poetry from “Songs and Sonnets.” Selections are here: Donne, Songs and Sonnets You should read “The Flea,” “The Sun Rising,” “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning,” and “The Ecstasy.” The poems “The Bait” and “To His Mistress Going to Bed” (which we handed out in class last time) are optional.  What kinds of metaphors does Donne use, and what do they accomplish? Also, how is the love depicted in these different from the other poetry we’ve read thus far?
  2. Discuss differences in song settings and lyrics in Donne poems set to music. Review the two settings of “So, so break [leave] off that lamenting kisse” in the playlist from last time. Also look at the different settings of these related songs, “Sweet, stay awhile” by John Dowland and “Break of day” by William Corkine, both printed in 1612. These have different lyrics, but they both ended up being attributed to Donne in the later 17th-century, even though Donne only wrote “Break of Day.” The lyrics are here, Break of Day-Sweet Stay lyrics, and the playlist is linked below.
  3. Explore books in the library’s special collections. You’re welcome to handle the books. Please keep all food and drinks put away.

Playlist with new Donne song settings:


Playlist from last time with two settings of Donne’s “So, so break off”: