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In celebration of National Poetry Month, every day we're posting a new poem from the spoken-word album Poetic License,a three-CD set that features one hundred performers of stage and screenreading one hundred poems selected by the actors themselves. FromShakespeare and Dickinson to Lucille Clifton and Allen Ginsberg, thelineup spans contemporary American poetry and classics of the Westerncanon.
John Donne (1572–1631) was a metaphysical poet known for his tumultuous relationship with the Roman Catholic faith of his upbringing. In the late sixteenth century, he published the volumes of love and erotic poems Satires and Songs and Sonnets, followed by Divine Poems in 1607, written while the poet was suffering a period of destitution. Donne also wrote numerous sermons as a chaplain of the Anglican Church, to which he converted in 1615, as well as a book of prayer, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions (1624).
Claire Lautier has appeared in regional theater productions of An Ideal Husband, Cyrano, and Richard III, among others, as well as on Broadway in Chaucer in Rome.
"A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" by John Donne, from Poetic License produced by Glen Roven. Copyright © 2010 by GPR Records. Used with permission of GPR Records.