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"Here you See me, and I am you": Queerness in the Poetry of John Donne


  • Alexis Lundblom

Summary, in English

This thesis examines queerness in the poetry of John Donne by re-examining same-gender desire in his poetry, proposing metaphysical poetry as having points of similarity with queering strategies and queer theory, and exploring contextual and historical tensions within and around Donne’s body of works. The thesis closely analyses poems which have previously been discussed as queer, such as “Sapho to Philaenis,” and “Batter my heart,” as well as less frequently examined poems such as “The Anniversary,” and “The Dissolution.” Additionally, this thesis studies the scholarship surrounding Donne’s authorship, what tendencies there are in terms of queer readings, and how one might approach the discourse today. The argument of this thesis is that Donne’s poetry specifically, and metaphysical poetry in general, are rich sources for queer readings. It adds contemporary, updated insights regarding queer readings in the Early Modern period to Donne scholarship, and suggests that the border-breaking, binary-challenging poetics of metaphysical poetry and queer theory have several interesting points of similarity.


  • Master's Programme: Literature - Culture - Media

Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • John Donne
  • queer
  • queer theory
  • metaphysical poetry
  • Early Modern literature
  • Renaissance poetry.


  • Cian Duffy (Professor)