: MANNA AND NUMEROLOGICAL DALLIANCE Gary A. Stringer University of Southern Mississippi If, as Miss Gardner has affirmed, "To have imagined and given supreme expression to the bliss of fulfilment, and to the discovery of the safety that there is in love given and returned, is Donne's greatest glory as a love-poet,"! scattered throughout the Songs and Sonnets are nevertheless a handful of lyrics remarkable for the variety and range of their cynicism. From the callow, brittle skepticism of "Goe, and catche a falling starre" at the beginning of the 1633 arrangement to the world-weary, reasoned nihilism of "Farewell to Love" near the end, one encounters occasional poems that severely question the nature of the experience shared by man and woman, usually on grounds of female inconstancy. Perhaps the most wistful of these is "The Primrose," a lyric rightly denoted by R. A. Durr as "seldom noticed by students," though almost ideally useful as a "point of reference for the reading of Donne's secular verse.,,2 Primarily a study of the poem's theme, Durr's discussion, together with that of Edward D. Cleveland,3 makes the most satisfactory commentary on the poem to date. But, helpful as these explications are, they
Explorations in Renaissance Culture – Brill
Published: Dec 2, 1974
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