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Chapter 4 - Stillness and Noise

Donne’s Songs and Sonnets in circa 1600 London

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 June 2023

Christopher D'Addario
Affiliation:
Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania
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Summary

This chapter seeks to remedy the decontextualization of Donnes Songs and Sonnets, to restore them alongside not only Donnes satires examined in Chapter 2, but also the other poets and writers that appear in this book and that were Donne’s closest peers. In doing so, the aim is both to resituate these lyrics amidst the urban culture in which Donne was so immersed through nearly all of his writing life and to connect these quintessentially metaphysical poems to the contemporary urban writing of the 1590s. Donnes lyrics reveal a similar concern with the social worlds of London in their persistent attempts to close out the particulars with which Nashes prose and the Inns satires engage. As a result, these poems are as much about the spatial realities of urban everyday life as they are about desire. Stylistically Donne’s Songs and Sonnets look less like a clean break with the past and more like an affirmation of an urban aesthetic that suffused the literary works of a certain subsection of 1590s London. Donnes lyrics take up the skeptical materialist style of this group of urban writers, at once obscure, various, and vibrantly immediate.

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Urban Aesthetics in Early Modern London
The Invention of the Metaphysical
, pp. 173 - 204
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Stillness and Noise
  • Christopher D'Addario, Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania
  • Book: Urban Aesthetics in Early Modern London
  • Online publication: 07 June 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009110884.005
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  • Stillness and Noise
  • Christopher D'Addario, Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania
  • Book: Urban Aesthetics in Early Modern London
  • Online publication: 07 June 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009110884.005
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Stillness and Noise
  • Christopher D'Addario, Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania
  • Book: Urban Aesthetics in Early Modern London
  • Online publication: 07 June 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009110884.005
Available formats
×