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Hymn to God, the Father by John Donne

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These slides represent a short-analysis of John Donne's Holy Sonnet named, "Hymn to God, the Father"

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Hymn to God, the Father by John Donne

  1. 1. Metaphysical Poetry Presentation
  2. 2. Text of the Poem Wilt Thou forgive that sin, where I begun, Which is my sin, though it were done before? Wilt Thou forgive those sins through which I run, And do run still, though still I do deplore? When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done, For I have more. Wilt Thou forgive that sin, by which I won Others to sin, and made my sin their door? Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun A year or two, but wallowed in a score? When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done, For I have more. I have a sin of fear that when I've spun My last thread, I shall perish on the shore; Swear by Thyself, that at my death Thy Son Shall shine as He shines now, and heretofore. And having done that, Thou hast done,
  3. 3. Summary The poem starts out with a question that Donne asks from God that will He forgive his sins which he did even before his birth? Actually, Donne refers to the Original Sin which our forefathers Adam and Eve did by eating the ‘Forbidden fruit’, according to Christian’s theology. He then adds that if God has forgiven those, He has not done yet. Donne has more sins to be forgiven. Then he seeks forgiveness for those sins that tempted others to commit sins. Even after that, God has not Donne. Donne then asks for mercy for those sins from which he refrained for a short-span but committed those earlier. In the concluding lines, Donne seems satisfied by taking an oath from God that His son Christ will help Donne to go in Heaven and not to be tangled in Limbo (A place between Heaven and Hell)
  4. 4. Poetic Devices used in the Poem Imagery Donne frequently used imagery in this poem. For instance, he says ‘Which is my sin, though it were done before’. Here he refers to the Original sin done by Adam and Eve. Refrain Donne used refrain by repeating this line in the first and second stanza. When thou hast done, thou hast not done, For, I have more
  5. 5. Metaphor Donne used a metaphor in line 8 of the poem where he metaphorically said that the sinful way he showed to others is like a door through which people enter into sinful world. See the lines: Wilt thou forgive that sinne by which I’have wonne Others to sinne? and, made my sinne their door? (Line-8) Pun Donne has used a wordplay in the lines: When thou hast done, thou hast not done And And, having done that, Thou haste done Here he has used the word Done as both ‘finish’ and as himself ‘Donne’ because both the words have same pronunciation
  6. 6. Metaphysical Elements John Donne is rightly called a metaphysical poet as his poetry talks mostly of Non-physical aspects. Even in “A Hymn to God, the Father”, he has used many metaphysical concepts to retain his metaphysical characteristic. For instance: • Donne refers to the Original Sin of Adam and Eve from where the sins were born. This is a metaphysical aspect and can be observed in the lines: Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun, Which is my sin, though it were done before
  7. 7. In the last stanza, Donne again talks of metaphysical aspects when he talks of being tangled in between Heaven and Hell after his death (Shore). Also, when he takes a swear from God that His son Christ will help Donne to go in Heaven It can be seen in the following lines: I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun My last thread, I shall perish on the shore; But swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore; And, having done that, thou hast done; I fear no more.

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