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Old 07-18-2009, 09:37 AM
Play The Man's Avatar
Play The Man Play The Man is offline
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Default John Donne & the atomic bomb

We just passed another anniversary of the "Trinity" atomic bomb test (July 16, 1945). Robert Oppenheimer named the test "Trinity" after reading the following John Donne sonnet which begins with the words: "Batter my heart, three-person'd God":




Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
This is probably my favorite poem. It is so radical, it would be scandalous if it were written today - "Take me to you, imprison me, for I, Except you enthrall me, never shall be free, Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me." I can only imagine the apoplectic reaction of feminist scholars and Pelagians. Such a bold proclamation of God's sovereignty in Christian soteriology, and from an Anglican, to boot!

The listing of the sonnet at luminarium.org had this painting (The Trinity) by Lucas Cranach, The Elder (my avatar is another painting by him)http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/sonnet14.php

"Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."
--Hugh Latimer, October 16, 1555
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:19 PM
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Tyburn Tyburn is offline
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Location: England
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John Donne was sometime Dean of Saint Paul's Cathedral, London.

I served under Dean John Moses

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKvSzI8tT4U One of only Two songs to have made me weep in public during the performance...
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