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Devotions: Upon Emergent Occasions, Together with Death's Duel (Ann… (original 1624; edition 1959)
by John Donne
Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and Death's Duel by John Donne (1624)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375705481, Paperback)Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and Death's Duel, one of the handsome series of Vintage Spiritual Classics, contains a rich collection of extraordinary writings, any one of which would be worth the price of the whole book. Andrew Motion's clear, accessible, entertaining, and erudite introduction explains the situation of both Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions--written in 1624, when Donne was feeble with a fever that doctors believed might kill him--and Death's Duel--Donne's final sermon at St. Paul's Cathedral, preached only a month before his death at age 59. Also included is Izaak Walton's The Life of Dr. John Donne, a spry and penetrating biography of the poet, written in 1640. And then there is the meat: both Devotions and Death's Duel show Donne at his very best--theatrical, humble, faithful, and doubting all at once. This is a book of severe and joyful mortality. Here is a foretaste from Devotions: "Death is in an old man's door, he appears and tells him so, and death is at a young man's back, and says nothing.... There is scarce anything that hath not killed somebody; a hair, a feather hath done it; nay, that which is our best antidote against it hath done it; the best cordial hath been deadly poison." --Michael Joseph Gross
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:26 -0400)
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