Metaphysical poets, selected poems Contents
- Donne, John
- John Donne's early life
- John Donne - from Catholic to Protestant
- John Donne's marriage and its aftermath
- John Donne - The Reverend Dean
- Herbert, George
- Crashaw, Richard
- Vaughan, Henry
- Marvell, Andrew
- King, Henry
- Lovelace, Richard
- Cowley, Abraham
- Philips, Katherine
- Cleveland, John
- Social / political context
- Religious / philosophical context
- Literary context: ideas and innovations
- Aire and Angels
- A Hymn to God the Father
- A Hymn to God, my God, in my Sicknesse
- A Nocturnall upon St. Lucies day
- At the Round Earth's Imagin'd Corners
- A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Synopsis of Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Commentary on Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Language and tone in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Structure and versification in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Imagery and symbolism in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- Themes in Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
- A Valediction: of Weeping
- Batter my heart
- Death be not Proud
- Elegie XIX: Going to Bed
- Elegie XVI: On his Mistris
- Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward
- Lovers' Infiniteness
- Oh my blacke Soule!
- Satyre III: 'On Religion'
- Show me Deare Christ
- Since She Whom I Lov'd
- Song: Goe, and catche a falling starre
- The Anniversarie
- The Dreame
- The Extasie
- The Flea
- The Good-morrow
- The Sunne Rising
- This is my playes last scene
- Twicknam Garden
- What if this present
- Affliction I
- Easter Wings
- Jordan I
- Jordan II
- Love II
- Prayer I
- The Church-floore
- The Collar
- Hymn in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
- Hymn to St Teresa
- St Mary Magdalene, or the Weeper
- To the Countesse of Denbigh
- Ascension - Hymn
- The Night
- The Retreate
- The Water-fall
- A Dialogue between Soul and Body
- On a Drop of Dew
- The Coronet
- The Definition of Love
- The Garden
- The Mower Against Gardens
- The Mower to the Glo-Worms
- The Mower's Song
- The Nymph Complaining for the Death of her Faun
- The Picture of Little T.C. in a Prospect of Flowers
- To his Coy Mistress
- Upon Appleton House, to my Lord Fairfax
Synopsis of Twicknam Garden
Twickenham is probably best known these days as the home of English Rugby football. However, in Donne's day, it was a pleasant and fashionable small village a few miles west of London, on the north bank of the River Thames. Twickenham Park was the country house of the Countess of Bedford from 1608-1617. She was also one of the patronesses or sponsors Donne had been courting to help him through the difficult period of his life after his marriage, when his career prospects nosedived.
Twicknam Garden could therefore be seen not so much as a love poem as a complaint that the Countess of Bedford has not welcomed his efforts at securing her patronage. This assumes the ‘she' is the Countess.
Or it could be seen as a love play, a joke, where Donne is just playing with the idea of the Countess being his mistress, as a sort of flattery – she was, after all, well into middle age.
In melancholic mood?
On the other hand, the poem could be taken more as a mood poem: although it is springtime, the traditional time for lovers to be happy, Donne is deeply melancholic and with good reason.
- Look out for clues as to whether the poem is a ‘joke' or a ‘mood' poem.
- What sort of clues could you look for?
- Can you relate to being somewhere where you felt totally at odds with the general mood or the mood you were supposed to feel?
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