Human on My Faithless Arm, Episode 2: A Valediction, Forbidding Mourning


Welcome back to Human on My Faithless Arm, a series of recitations of great poems composed in English.

Episode 2, in which I introduce and recite John Donne’s “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning,” can be found above.

Want to follow along as I recite? You can find the text of Donne’s poem here.

Note well that this Poetry Foundation page also includes an audio recording you may wish to compare to mine! The discussion of Donne the PF has posted here is outstanding as well, and especially useful if you, like me, are old enough to have been brought up on the myth that Donne was a “bad boy” or rake for some years and then later became a “good cleric.” The more recently discovered history of the composition of the poems does not support such a trite narrative, thank goodness!

An amazing scholarly resource for the works of John Donne can be found at Texas A&M’s Digital Donne.

I hope you’ll enjoy Episode 2, and then join me for Episode 3, when I’ll introduce and recite the first poem baby Auden fell for, Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee.”

Daniel Bosch

Daniel Bosch is Lecturer in English at Emory University and Senior Editor of Berfrois.