Creative Writing Wordshops Newsletter January 2024
I wish you courage in a year of choice change in search of the happiness bird that alights on unexpected limbs.
[John Donne – Abiding Presence Priest and Poet Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail. Love, built on beauty, soon as beauty, dies. Death is an ascension to a better library. (John Donne 3 quotes)
We often know the works of a writer or poet and little about their lives. They are obviously connected although the writing stands alone. Take John Donne, born this month in 1572 dying at 59. Illness, doubt and death were ofttimes his companions. His father died when he was four. And then, as
a Catholic, he experienced prejudice to the extent that when he studied at Oxford and Cambridge he was not allowed to graduate. He was a soldier in the Spanish- English prolonged war, then became a Member of Parliament.
When 29, he eloped with Anne More a 17 year old against the father’s wishes. Donne was imprisoned together with the priest who
married them. His wry response? John Donne, Ann Donne, Undone. She bore 12 children, dying in childbirth when only 33. Two of them stillborn. Three dying before the age of 10. The couple often struggled with the grip of poverty around their throats. He converted to the Anglican Church and became Dean of St. Paul’s, well-known for his sermons. This playful, erotic, spiritual metaphysical poet bore the touch of the mystic in him.