Analysis of John Donne’s Holy Sonnet XIV
Will God pummel his way into our hearts? We have a choice to take the straight, narrow road or the broad, easy road. God grants us all “free will.” In John Donne’s Holy Sonnet XIV, I depict that he is torn between two faiths and cannot decide which path he wants to take. There are several allusions and metaphors that are described in this Sonnet that sustain my interpretation.
The poem is full of allusions, typically of the biblical sort. For instance, he begins uttering, “Batter my heart, three personed God (Donne 474)," referring to the Christian trinity; God the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit. When he says, "knock, breathe, shine and seek to mend (Donne 474)," Donne is making an allusion to Jesus when he says knock, Christians believe Jesus is the door to God, if we let Jesus in our lives we will discover God. He is suggesting that “breathe” is the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost is that breathe of life, in the course of the Holy Spirit we have our being. We are spiritually entwined as human beings through our mind, body, and soul. The "Shine" seems to be the central thought of the entire poem. “Shine” would be perfect since it could be a reference to God, God is perfect and he is beauty, God’s purpose is for us to be like him; if he excels we excel. The "seek to mend" is a characteristic of the combined three, the entire trinity mended together as God intended.
The next clause, "break, blow, burn, and make me new (474)" are attributions of the previously mentioned verbs with a little more intensity. The metaphor is that God is the blacksmith, they repair things that are broken, by using a blow torch to “mend” it back together to make it look new again. The author is comparing himself to a piece of glass or metal that wants to be utilized in a different way than before. The use of the term fire denotes a strong desire to be tested,...