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Jon Donne was the most outstanding of the English metaphysical poets and a churchman famous for his spellbinding sermons His poetry is noted for its ingenious fusion of wit and seriousness and represents a shift from classical models toward a more personal style Jon Donnes poetic genius has been appreciated by many throughout history Donne broke away from the decorative and flowery verse that characterized most poetry during the Elizabethan period to develop his own unique style His poetry is rich in metaphor and admittedly can be difficult and allusive However his poetry is well worth the effort it demands on the part of the reader Jon Donne was born in London England to a prominent Roman Catholic family but eventually converted to Anglicanism during the 1590s At the age of eleven years old he entered the University of Oxford where he studied for three years He then attended Cambridge University and Lincolns Inn a law school in 1592 but was barred from getting a degree because of his faith In 1596 Jon Donne joined the naval expedition that Robert Devereux 2nd earl of Essex led against Cadiz Spain On his return to England Donne was appointed private secretary to Sir Thomas Egerton Keeper of the Great Seal in 1598 In 1601 Donne secretly married Egertons niece Anne More This secret marriage resulted in his dismissal from his position and in a brief imprisonment The secret marriage also abolished his hopes for future success Anne Donne eventually died in 1617 at age thirty-three after giving birth to their twelfth child During the next few years Donne made a meager li ving as a lawyer serving chiefly as a counsel for Thomas Morton an Anti-Roman Catholic pamphleteer Donne may have collaborated with Morton in writing pamphlets that appeared under Mortons name from the year 1604 to the year 1607 It was formerly assumed that Donnes poetry reflected the
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