Color portrait of English poet John Donne.

John Donne

(1572 - 1631)

John Donne was the preeminent poet of the Metaphysical school, described by a contemporary as, “very neat; a great visitor of ladies, a great frequenter of plays, a great writer of conceited verses.” Ordained as an Anglican priest in 1615, he was best known during his life for his sermons, becoming a favorite preacher of King James I and, later, Charles I, while almost all of his poetry was published posthumously.

All Writing

As peace is of all goodness, so war is an emblem, a hieroglyphic, of all misery.

—John Donne, 1622

If I lose at play, I blaspheme, and if my fellow loses, he blasphemes. So that God is always sure to be the loser.

—John Donne, 1623

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