Guest poem submitted by Anustup Datta :
(Poem #384) Song
Go and catch a falling star, Get with child a mandrake root, Tell me where all past years are, Or who cleft the devils foot; Teach me to hear mermaids singing, Or to keep off envy's stinging, And find What wind Serves to advance an honest mind. If thou be'st born to strange sights, Things invisible to see, Ride ten thousand days and nights Till Age snow white hairs on thee; Thou, when thou return'st wilt tell me All strange wonders that befell thee, And swear No where Lives a woman true and fair. If thou find'st one let me know; Such a pilgrimage were sweet. Yet do not; I would not go, Though at next door we might meet. Though she were true when you met her, And last, till you write your letter, Yet she Will be False, ere I come, to two or three.
Here is Donne at his bitterest - the disappointed lover reviles womankind and bemoans his own fortune as well. But like all of Donne's poetry, it is simply beautiful : read aloud the wonderful first stanza and you would know why Tagore rated Donne the greatest lyric poet in the English tongue. Anustup. PS. I have always felt that Donne's use of difficult argument, complex metaphor and allegory was a device to control and discipline his wildly romantic heart - he treads over-carefully like a drunk who does not trust his own tottering footsteps.