A Cognitive Approach to John Donne’s Songs and Sonnets by M. Winkleman, Michael A. Winkelman

By M. Winkleman, Michael A. Winkelman

Investigations into how the mind truly works have ended in striking discoveries and those findings hold profound implications for studying literature. This examine applies contemporary breakthroughs from neuroscience and evolutionary psychology so one can deepen our figuring out of John Donne's Songs and Sonnets.

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Additional info for A Cognitive Approach to John Donne’s Songs and Sonnets (Cognitive Studies in Literature and Performance)

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However, desperate circumstances, whatever the external cause, might well drive many intelligent individuals toward deeper self-exploration. Consequently, Hamlet’s and Satan’s recollections of happier states have, in a way, compelled their inward turn where more blissful, contented folk need not delve into painful soul-searching to such a degree. 254–56). ”36 Hamlet and Satan speak for us all: they vividly capture subjectivity. I believe these metacognitive reflections are important in getting at a fundamental part of our shared humanity; understanding imaginative OF ME TAP HORS AND MINDSCAPES 33 literature and each other is based on mutual recognition of such mindscapes.

That historical background renders Bishop’s conceit more witty and piquant; yet the poem would founder without its basis in such an effective, comprehensive underlying metaphor. Mnemotechnics To wander into the hypothetical, picture Donne and Bishop meeting and talking shop in a café on Parnassus. I would hope the exchange, wherever it led, would have been enjoyable and edifying for both parties. If Bishop shared her unpublished work with him, and Donne the king’s man was not so put out by Washington’s rebellion against the Crown that he refused to peruse it, he certainly would have had no problem grasping its content.

And yet Rhetorique will make absent and remote things present to your understanding) How weak a thing is Poetry? ii, 87). After years of experience in which he composed “more thankfull Sonnets . . to love,” read loads of vernacular authors, and “applied himself to an incessant study of Textual Divinity,” he was deeply impressed by poetry’s paradoxical power (Image, 19; Walton, 46). 11 Indeed, something so fundamental that it can almost appear to be hidden in plain sight is that language makes suasion possible.

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