John Donne was an interesting guy. He was an inveterate womanizer and poet turned pious preacher. James Parker profiles Donne for The Atlantic and brings in a metal comparison.
Super-Infinite is the title of Katherine Rundell’s new biographical study of Donne. It sounds like an album by Monster Magnet. And indeed, Rundell responds to Donne in something of a heavy-metal, hyperbolizing register. Read the first stanza of “Love’s Growth,” she promises us, and “all the oxygen in a five-mile radius rushes to greet you.” Another poem, “The Comparison,” in which Donne contrasts the charms of his mistress with those of another woman, takes the tradition of poets praising female beauty “and knifes it in a dark alley.” And so on.
For all his hyperbole, I’m pretty sure Donne didn’t write about acid trips like Monster Magnet. Parker never mentions it, but another metal comparison would be Metallica, as they took their song title “For Whom The Bell Tolls” from Donne’s writing.
→ The Unlovable, Irresistible John Donne