Critical appreciation of “Batter My Heart, three Personed God”

John Donne’s “Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God, For You” is actually an Italian sonnet and has been written in the form of iambic pentameter. The poet expresses the feelings of a man who is depressed and pleading with his God to change him completely because he is sick of his sins and wants peace of mind and soul. He feels that he is surrounded by sins and his own sinful nature. He thinks that he is betrothed to the “Enemy” of God, namely Satan. The poet or the speaker wants be be in God’s love and feels that nothing in the world can sooth him except God’s love. He wants to be faithful to his God but he also believes that it is a difficulty task to be achieved.


The entire poem is actually a journey of longing to be with new faith. The faith that can make him realize that he is now truly in love with God and God is also happy with him. The starting of the poem is dramatic and surprising. The poet asks God to beat his heart to break it down so that it may be a new one. With the old heart full of sins and black spots of sins, he cannot face God. Only with the help of remoulded or reshaped heart free of sins, he will be able stand in front of God. He asks God to overthrow him and use all his might and power to burn him so that he could be made new. He says that he was like a captive who had to serve his creator but he felt weak. He asks God to lend him his reason so that he can defend himself against all the luring things of the world.
In the next half of the poem the poet makes a claim that despite all his shortcomings he loves God and is pleased to do that, but unfortunately he is currently betrothed to Satan the enemy of God. He asks God to divorce, untie and break that knot, he asks God to imprison him so that he can become free and he says that he will never be chaste unless he is ravished By God.
The sonnet though in theme is like a prayer made to God for forgiveness, but the tone is aggressive. The choice of words is strange for an innocent purpose. The poet makes use of violent words, batter, break, blow and burn. The hard sound created be these words allows the readers to comprehend how much the reader is weak and how much dejected he is. These words also describe that the poet is imprisoned and gloomy. The reader is fully awed to think what would happen if these things really happen.
To sum up, Donne’s poem is overall captivating, real, and moving. It fosters the feelings of faith and the feelings of the Day of Judgement in the readers. The poem is about all those who have faith. It takes the readers into the world where the believers in God have to ponder over their sins. They have to beg pardon from God for their sins. We can say that the readers actually have to go through this process of repentance and forgiveness if they have faith in God. Anyone who is deep-rooted in his religion can relate to this desperate longing to be faithful to God in a real and passionate way.  (Words: 573)