Sophisticated wit and intense emotion, religious fervor and erotic sensuality, delight in life’s pleasures and fascination with death, are all to be found in the paradoxical poetry of John Donne. One of the foremost metaphysical poets, Donne’s ingenious metaphors and inspired use of language has earned him affection and reverence in near equal measure to Shakespeare.
"Listen to these blokes read Donne"
John Donne, Andrew Marvell, George Herbert, Thomas Carew, and Henry Vaughan: these were some of the 17th-century writers who devised a new form of poetry full of wit, intellect and grace, which we now call Metaphysical poetry. They wrote about their deepest religious feelings and their carnal pleasures in a way that was radically new and challenging to their readers. Their work was largely misunderstood or ignored for two centuries, until 20th-century critics rediscovered it, finding in it a deep originality and a willingness to experiment.
A BBC Radio 3 full-cast drama by Stephen Wakelam on a period in the life of Shakespeare. Business is going well, but the playwright urgently needs a collaborator for his latest play. His daughter is getting married. His brother has a sick child and is in need of a job. It is 1607, and Shakespeare's life is at a turning point. Starring Antony Sher as William Shakespeare, Will Keen as Jack Robinson, and Stephen Critchlow as John Marston.