Feminine Engendered Faith: John Donne and Richard Crashaw

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The author proposes that devotion to the Virgin Mary is an important poetic link between Donne and Crashaw in a crucial period of the English Reformation between 1595 and 1645. She traces evidence of this devotion in a wide range of poems which they wrote to or about women. In the first half of this work, Donne's Songs and Sonnets , Verse Letters , religious works and Anniversaries are discussed as they reflect increasingly covert reverence for a holy mother figure. In the second half, Crashaw's juvenile poems and epigrams, verse in honour of the Virgin and Child, and mature contemplative verse are seen to express not only mystical homage to Mary but growing and more open admiration for feminine powers of faith.