Posted by: chuckbumgardner | December 23, 2007

Annunciation, John Donne

My friend Ryan Martin put this beautiful sonnet by Donne on the Christmas greetings his family sent out this year.  I love Donne’s poetry, and enjoyed this piece again.
Salvation to all that will is nigh;
That All, which always is all everywhere,
Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear,
Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die,
Lo, faithful virgin, yields Himself to lie
In prison, in thy womb; and though He there
Can take no sin, nor thou give, yet He will wear,
Taken from thence, flesh, which death’s force may try.
Ere by the spheres time was created, thou
Wast in His mind, who is thy Son and Brother;
Whom thou conceivst, conceived; yea thou art now
Thy Maker’s maker, and thy Father’s mother;
Thou hast light in dark, and shutst in little room,
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb.
This sonnet is one of a cycle of seven sonnets called La Corona (The Crown).  The last line of each sonnet is repeated as the first line of the next sonnet, and the last line of the last sonnet is identical to the first line of the first sonnet.  All seven are thus linked into a “crown,” to which Donne refers in the first line of the cycle:
Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise.
The complete cycle may be found here.

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