Abstract

Abstract:

This article introduces "chopology"—a homiletic method that breaks down biblical texts into component linguistic units—as a hermeneutic by which to understand the scripturalism of John Donne's religious poetry. It first explores how this controversial reading method operated in the sermons of Donne's homiletic predecessors; then it examines Donne's own way of breaking down scriptural texts in his sermons; and finally it finds this destructive hermeneutic at work in his "Hymne to God my God, in my sicknesse" and Holy Sonnets. "John Donne, Chopologist" thus provides a new perspective on Donne's poetic practice by uncovering a subterranean link between his preaching and his poetry and by articulating his method for moving from a given text to a poetic composition. I argue that Donne's devotional poems, rather than merely mimicking or meditating upon scriptural texts, perform methodical interpretations of them, merging poesis, the act of poetic creation, with exegesis, the art of interpretation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0383
Print ISSN
0039-3738
Pages
pp. 742-765
Launched on MUSE
2018-10-04
Open Access
No
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