Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Marry and love thy Flavia

I was helping my sister out with her English homework, discussing Shylock. And as way leads on to way, I ended up with the quote of "No man is an island.." I had the sudden urge to read the whole thing. So I went to the library and took out The Complete Works of John Donne and started reading it on the way back.

It was then I came across "The Anagram". Intriguing! Poetry puzzle?

Marry, and love thy Flavia, for she
Hath all things, whereby others beauteous be;
For, though her eyes be small, her mouth is great;
Though they be ivory, yet her teeth be jet;
Though they be dim, yet she is light enough;
And though her harsh hair fall, her skin is tough;
What though her cheeks be yellow, her hair's red,
Give her thine, and she hath a maidenhead.

Though all her parts be not in th' usual place,
She hath yet an anagram of a good face.

I was laughing my heart off!

I remember my English teacher praising Donne's virtues, the timeless words. We didn't discuss the "romantic" side of Donne, possibly because the analysis of the fairly conservative Romeo & Juliet did set off pesky giggling teenagers teetering at the cliffs of puberty.

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