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HolySonnets: Batter my heart, three-personed God
HolySonnet is a spiritual poem in nature. In the poem, Donne is speakingto God and acknowledging the Trinity the Father, the Son, and theHoly Ghost. He was aware that his earthly ways often served thedevil, and thus he asks God to renew their connection so that he willbe closer to God. As a result, he as God to batter his heartas opposed to what God had been doing so far.
Inthe poem, there is implied metaphor in the first quatrain, thepersona complaints and asks God to do the following. He asks Godalongside Jesus and the Holy Ghost together to make up three-personedGod to attack his heart as if the heart was a fortress town.If one is caught on the word batter, the back in medieval times, tobreak down the fortress door of the castle or the fortress, one hadto use a battering ram. The battering ram is a huge pole with ramcarving on the front. The person asks God to batter his heart asopposed to what God had been doing so far just shining, knocking andtrying to heal the speaker. The actions are nice, but Donne needssomething more intense. The mending is nice but he "seeks God"and not just "mend."
Inline 3 and 4, he asks God to bend his force that may mean usingpower. More significantly, the speaker gets to the point of why hetell God to do all this. His fundamental goal as he put is to standand rise and become new.This may work in two ways He is a born again angel where the speakerasks for a movement of religious epiphany. He needs to recognize thepower of God but the worries that the only way God can get to him isdoing something violent and overthrow his life altogether. On theother hand "make me new" is a reference to the Christianidea that true salvation and happiness only happens after death andthat, to get to heaven, the earthly life must be a continuous act ofsuffering.
Inthe second quatrain, the simile enlarges the already establishedfirst. The persona gives the explanation of battering business wherehe compares himself to a captured town “likea usurped town" The phrase another due shows that this townbelongs to someone else, but this is tricky since we cannot know whothe person is.The likely possibility or the origin is God. The author enlarges thesimile by trying to let God in, but he is not able. These lines areso engaging with the expounding of the simile instead of themetaphor. Instead of saying I have usurped town he leaves more roombetween the city and himself by saying that they are similar. Thus,the speaker is conscious of his request is unrealistic. The "oh"in the second quatrain in line 6 is worth mentioning. It can beregarded as the honest expression where the speaker let his word gowithout caring. It`s more of a sigh, sound or an exclamation. It`sdifferent that we have not seen it in any other place in the poem. Ifwe lead it as a sigh, it expounds on the simile and thus adds someemotional pull if we seem sad, and we cannot let God in.
Thesestet summarizes the situation of the octet in the poem there is asecond implied metaphor to encapsulate the persona spiritual desireand dilemma. Donne uses Metaphor by comparing himself to the peopleof the town who have been taken by the military, and he owes theallegiance to its new leader who is God. However, he persists inbeing stubborn and challenging unable to be turned as he is beingusurped. He is not faithful to the new lord.The significance of imagery presents the inability of the persona toembrace the newness of life, and he says that despite all thestubbornness alluded previously, he loves God, but he is tied. Heasks God to divorce him from the connection he has with the Satan andthen God will take him as a prisoner.
Therhyming couplet at the end of the sonnet acts as the summary of thepoem. He asks God to imprison him and never let him free. A paradoxin the last two lines exists where the speaker notes that he willnever be pure unless he gets God`s own ravish. In human logic, ravishis associated with taking by force or overcoming concerning women.The term means taking them sexually by force. Nevertheless,spiritually, the persona is saying that unless God takes control ofhim, he can never be pure
Thepoet suggests that the female role of ravishment and betrothal, thecity is often coded as female. In the New Testament, the church issaid to be married to God. Through the use of various metaphors, wecan see that the author has tried to bring the holy sonnet to aconclusive comprehension. The use simileenlarges the already established first. The persona gives theexplanation of battering business where he compares himself to acaptured town. Thespeaker likens himself to a captured town.As the poem turn, the speaker admits his love for God and wants to beloved. However, he is tied to God’s unspecified enemy whom we canthink as Stan.
Bartleby.74. "Batter my heart, three-person God for, you." 2015. 3November 2015 <http://www.bartleby.com/105/74.html>.