• Richa Biswal University of Allahabad



Rasa, Bhakti, devotion, Donne, poetry, poems


Donne is considered one of the greatest devotional poets of English. His devotional poetry reflects the intensity of feeling and inner conflict. The main themes of his devotional poems are the falseness of this world and the sufferings of the soul imprisoned in the body. According to Donne, the solution to all these problems is to obtain the blessings of the Almighty. His 'Holy Sonnets' may be regarded as poems of repentance and supplications for divine grace. Bhakti-rasa also deals with the elements of devotion. Thus, his devotional poetry can be profitably analysed from the perspective of bhakti-rasa. However, the concept of bhakti-rasa is an Indian concept still has not been ignored by writers in any language. The theory of bhakti influenced many prominent writers, Donne being one of mthe most celebrated. The present paper deals with some of the significant inter-connections between the mEastern and Western branches of aesthetics to address the universality and relevance of bhakti-rasa. Donne's poems consist of almost all the features of bhakti-rasa as mentioned in Indian Poetics in general and in Srila Rupagoswami's renowned text Bhakti-rasāmrta-Sindhu in particular. The three sections describe the types and subtypes. A literature review is described in the second section, showing that Donne's poetry has not been studied in the light of bhakti-rasa so far, either in the west or in the east. In the third section, John Donne's poetry is analysed in the light of bhakti-rasa.


Ansari, Asloob Ahmad, editor. Essays on John Donne. Dept. of English, Aligarh Muslim U, 1974.

Bennet, Joan. Five Metaphysical Poets. Cambridge UP, 1964.

Booth, Roy, editor. The Collected Poems of John Donne. Wordsworth Poetry Library, 2002.

Chandra, Naresh. John Donne and Metaphysical Poetry. Doaba House, 1991.

Donne, John, and C A Patrides. The Complete English Poems of John Donne. Dent, 1985.

Gardner, Helen, editor. John Donne: A Collection of Critical Essays (20th Century Views). Prentice-Hall of India, 1979.

Introduction. The Metaphysical Poets. 2nd ed., Oxford UP, 1967.

John Donne: The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets. Oxford UP, 1965.

Ghosh, M. Nātyashāstra. Manish Granthalaya, 1967.

The Nātyasāstra. The Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1950.

Guibbory, Achsah. The Cambridge Companion to John Donne. Cambridge UP, 2006.

Keast, William R., editor. Seventeenth-Century English Poetry: Modern Essays in Criticism. Oxford UP, 1962.23

Nagar, R. S. Nātyasāstra. Parimal P, 1984.

Patnaik, Priyadarshi. Rasa in Aesthetics: An Application of Rasa Theory to Modern Western Literature. D.K. Printworld, 2004.

Partridge, A. C. John Donne: Language and Style. Andre Deutsch, 1978.

Ramachandrudu. P. Shri. Some Unexplored Aspects of The Rasa Theory. Vidyanidhi. P, 1996.

Ramdev Rina, "John Donne: Introduction" Sidney, Spencer and Donne: A Critical Introduction. Worldview Critical Editions, 2002.

Rupagosvami, Srila. Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu. Chowkhambha, 1998.

Saintsbury, George. "John Donne". John Donne: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Helen Gardner. Prentice-Hall of India. 1979.

Sanders, Wilbur. John Donne's Poetry. Cambridge UP, 1971.

Smith, A.J., editor. John Donne: The Complete English Poems. Penguin, 1971.

The Number of Rasas. The Adyar Library and Research Centre, 1967.