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A Matter of Forced Salvation:

            Batter my heart, three person'd God; for, you.
             As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;.
             That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee' and bend.
             Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
             I, like an usurpt towne, to' another due,.
             Labour to' admit you, but Oh, to no end,.
             Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,.
             But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue,.
             Yet dearely' I love you, and would be lov'd faine,.
             But am bethroth'd unto your enemie,.
             Divorce mee, 'untie, or breake that knot againe,.
             Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I.
             Except you' enthrall mee, never shall be free,.
             Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.
             - John Donne.
             "We do not come to Donne as we come to Shakespeare, whose space in history are in our blood and bones. Donne is surely not all we are and have been; he does not revive the memory of our whole selves" (Cathcart 1). In other word, John Donne's poetry is unfamiliar to the average reader. many people may understand the work of Shakespeare, for instance, only because it is frequently performed and studied. The study of Donne is different in terms of the ambiguity encountered in his work. many of his poems will logically support a vast number of interpretations. "Batter my heart," a holy sonnet by John Donne, uses sexual imagery to describe the speaker's acceptance of God's will. To what degree should critics focus on the suggestive language used to describe God forcing the speaker to serve Him? Critics have explicated this poem by putting varying degrees of emphasis on these images. Some have totally denied the presence of sex in the "holy" sonnet while others have looked at it from a Freudian perspective and transformed the speaker into a sadomasochist with an Oedipus complex. No matter how the poem is interpreted, it is important to remember that it was not intended to be a secular poem. However, Donne's use of language often diverts the reader's attention away from its primary meaning.

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