This sound recording by David Barnes allows
listeners to distinguish pauses and stops as John
Donne intended them.
Think about the meter.
Think about the rhyme scheme.
How is this different from other poems you have
Barnes, David. Holy Sonnet XII. By John Donne. Librivox. Audio download. Date uploaded: October 07, 2007.
Date accessed: March 02, 2010. http://librivox.org/holy-sonnets-by-john-donne/
“He [Donne] marvels that the
Creator of all creatures died for
humans, the most corrupt of his
This one line summation of the sonnet tells the reader almost
all he or she would need to know. The sonnet is, in fact, about
Donne’s awe that Jesus Christ died for such a corrupt and
deceitful group of creatures when other creations are more
worthy of his love and sacrifice.
Bromberg, Howard. “Holy Sonnets.” Masterplots II: Christian Literature. Pasadena, California: Salem Press
Inc. 2008. Accessed online: March 02, 2010. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
This source is an examination of Donne’s theme of original sin. It
provides some background on his opinion. As Williamson has
written multiples of books on Donne and done extensive
research on the metaphysical poet, his work is considered
credible. Adding to the notability of his work is the fact that it
has been published by Johns Hopkins University. I plan on
inserting this annotation to help the reader understand that this
sonnet is not the first, nor is it the last, occurrence of Donne’s
original sin theme
. Williamson, George. "Donne's Satirical Progresse of the Soule."
ELH, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Mar., 1969), pp. 250-264 Published by: The
Johns Hopkins University Press. http://www.jstor.org/stable/
This small essay written specifically on Holy Sonnet XII also
goes in depth into explaining the main themes and ideas
presented in the sonnet. Although Explicator is not the most
reliable source, Fenner has written numerous other papers on
literature and is considered to be a credible, noteworthy source.
I plan on placing this annotation at the end of the sonnet. It gives
a chance to reread the sonnet and consider the ideas that Fenner
puts forth, including the idea of the hierarchy of the people or
animals mentioned in the sonnet.
Fenner, Arthur. "Donne's 'Holy Sonnet XII'." Explicator 40.4
(1982): 14-15. MLA International Bibliography. EBSCO. Web. 2
One of the major ideas presented in Holy Sonnet 12 is the
paradox of sin and the idea of original sin. It is a recurring theme
with Donne and is most certainly present in the sonnet I am
annotating. I have decided to devote a page to the idea of
original sin, John Donne’s assessment of it, and later scholars’
critique of Donne’s said assessment. The author is clearly
reliable, having been published in the Quarterly Journal of
English Literature and the English Language. This helps cement
the ideas and attitudes she presents concerning Donne and
Evans, Gillian R. "John Donne and the Augustinian Paradox of
Sin." Review of English Studies: A Quarterly Journal of English
Literature and the English Language 33.129 (1982): 1-22. MLA
International Bibliography. EBSCO. Web. 2 Mar. 2010.
Patrick Grant examines all of Donne’s sonnets, including Holy
Sonnet XII, and makes commentary on each one. He chooses to
show how the sonnets are interrelated and connecting in various
ways. He focuses on how original sin started and how affects
John Donne’s writing style. This differs a bit from my other
sources because Grant connects the sonnets together and shows
the recurring theme. Grant, like Williamson, is published by
Johns Hopkins and is a credible source. His works are full of
research notes and citations, providing a way to check his
Augustinian Spirituality and the Holy Sonnets of John
DonnePatrick GrantELH, Vol. 38, No. 4 (Dec., 1971), pp.
542-561Published by: The Johns Hopkins University PressStable
.Renaker examines all of Donne’s sonnets in an attempt to make
sense of the “story” that the sonnets tell. He analyzes each
sonnet in turn. This is especially helpful as Holy Sonnet 12 is not
as widely analyzed as other sonnets. I plan on using the
information in this annotation in conjunction with other
resources on both original and Donne’s writing style. Renaker
provides an extensive section on his notes and sources. He has
also analyzed many Donne works and critiqued fellow
Renaker, David. "Do Donne's Holy Sonnets Tell a Story?" The
Atheist Seventeenth Century Website. N.p., 2002-2004. Web. 4
In Margaret Edson’s play, the main character, an intense scholar of
Donne, participates in a memorable scene in which she is taught that the
spelling and punctuation of Donne’s poetry has significant meaning to
how the poem in accepted. In relating to this, I have chosen to take two
forms of Holy Sonnet XII, the version at the top of the post and another,
and analyze how the two are different, yet similar as far as message
goes. Margaret Edson is certainly a credible source. She gained her
degree in Renaissance History from Smith College and her master’s in
English Literature from Georgetown University. Although “Wit” was her
first published work, she used her background in English literature and
as a hospital worker to ensure her play was factually correct.
Margaret Edson, Wit: A Play. Faber & Faber. (1999) ISBN: 10-0571198775
I have cited Grant above and believe he is a thoroughly credible
source on Holy Sonnet XII. For this reason, I am using his work
again. This journal article goes through each line of Holy Sonnet
XII, breaking it down so a reader can easily understand and
analyze the poem. He cites connections throughout the poem
and also shows how important Donne’s word choice is. I plan on
using this as an annotation specifically on how Donne wrote this
sonnet. He uses different language and a different writing style
in his sonnets than he does in his other poetry.
Grant, Patrick. "Donne, Pico, and Holy Sonnet XII". Humanities
Association Review (1973): 39-42. MLA International
Bibliography. Web. 4 March 2010.
Adding to the above annotation, I plan on using this source to
further investigate and analyze how Donne used and
manipulated the English language in his sonnets. He discusses
the language, the structure of the sonnet itself and its form.
Although these are not normally analyzed by other critics, it is
especially important to understand these. Bellette is a scholar of
philology, the study of linguistics and literary studies. Due to his
background in this and the fact that the University of North
Carolina published him, he is considered a credible and
Bellette, Anthony F. "Little Worlds Made Cunningly: Significant
Form in Donne's 'Holy Sonnets' and 'Goodfriday, 1613'". Studies
in Philology, Vol. 72, No. 3. University of North Carolina Press:
I realize that my annotations are not complete and there is
still a lot of work to be done, but the idea is basically laid out
in my head. I am going to try and keep the annotations as
compact as possible (1-2 slides), but there are some I will
need to expand on, particularly annotation eight. Depending
on time and whether or not is distracts from the presentation
itself, I made add effects and such.