In this final chapter of analysis we will examine some of the poems which have won Donne a reputation as a religious poet second only to Milton. The history of the term ‘Metaphysical’ when applied to Donne is dealt with in Part II of this book, but the term seems apt even without that critical history, since Donne is unique amongst English poets for the sincerity and depth with which he contemplates his relationship with his God and the universe. We might even be surprised when we reflect that, in the entire canon of English poetry, no other poet shows such concern for the state of his spiritual health. Whether we conclude this says more about Donne than it does about English poets is a matter for much broader critical debate.
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