A Concordance to the English Poems of John Donne

A Concordance to the English Poems of John Donne

A Concordance to the English Poems of John Donne

A Concordance to the English Poems of John Donne

Excerpt

About the time of the tercentenary of the death of John Donne and of the first publication of his poems I became interested in a problem involving his influence upon one of his late contemporaries. Certainly three hundred years should have been a sufficiently long time for scholars to bring forth a concordance to the poems of a man generally conceded to be one of the most influential of English poets -- but no such work existed. At first I made a concordance to the Songs and Sonets and later extended my project to include the complete text of Donne's poems. The need for such a scholarly tool became evident to Mrs. Sullens also, but it was not until I had completed my concordance that I heard of hers. After some correspondence I invited her to publish with me. Her concordance and mine have been checked against each other and features of both have been incorporated in the present work.

The basic text for this concordance is the revised, one-volume edition of The Poetical Works of John Donne, edited byProfessor H. J. C. Grierson and published by the Oxford University Press in 1929. Based upon the larger edition issued in 1912, this edition presumably represents the latest judgment of the greatest editor of Donne on the full text of the poems. The concordance does not include quotations from the Latin poems and translations in Appendix A of the 1929 edition or from the "doubtful poems" in Appendix B, but it covers all of the English poems which that edition definitely assigns to Donne. The Oxford University Press has reissued the poems in the Standard Authors series with the same pagination and line numbers.

The method of procedure followed here is, with some slight modification, the one used by Professor Lane Cooper in his concordance to the poems of William Wordsworth. For this excellent model we are deeply grateful. Since his procedure is explained in detail in his preface, it would be presumptuous as well as repetitious to restate it here. It involves the use of lines cut from the text itself -- a method which tends to reduce to a minimum the possibility of error in the final text of the concordance.

Guide words in this concordance appear in modern spelling, whereas Donne's spelling is retained in the quoted lines. Under the guide words the lines are usually arranged in the order in which the words . . .

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