The Devotional Poetry of Donne, Herbert, and Milton

By Leland Ryken

The Devotional Poetry of Donne, Herbert, and Milton

Format: Paperback

Availability: Out of Print

Other Books in This Series:

The Devotional Poetry of Donne, Herbert, and Milton

By Leland Ryken

We’ve all heard about the classics and assume they’re great. Some of us have even read them on our own. But for those of us who remain a bit intimidated or simply want to get more out of our reading, Crossway’s Christian Guides to the Classics are here to help.

In these short guidebooks, popular professor, author, and literary expert Leland Ryken takes you through some of the greatest literature in history while answering your questions along the way.

Each book:

  • Includes an introduction to the author and work
  • Explains the cultural context
  • Incorporates published criticism
  • Defines key literary terms
  • Contains discussion questions at the end of each unit of the text
  • Lists resources for further study
  • Evaluates the classic text from a Christian worldview

This volume leads readers through the devotional poetry of three seventeenth-century poetic geniuses: John Donne, George Herbert, and John Milton.


Leland Ryken (PhD, University of Oregon) served as professor of English at Wheaton College for nearly 50 years. He has authored or edited over fifty books, including The Word of God in English and A Complete Handbook of Literary Forms in the Bible. He is a frequent speaker at the Evangelical Theological Society's annual meetings and served as literary stylist for the English Standard Version Bible.


“Ryken is a warm and welcoming guide to the classics of Western literature. The books in this series distill complex works into engaging and relevant commentaries, and help twenty-first-century readers understand what the classics are, how to read them, and why they continue to matter.”
Andrew Logemann, Chair, Department of English, Gordon College

“The Classics are peaks I’ve always wanted to climb, but never had the chutzpah to tackle. I often find myself, as a result, admiring these beauties from afar, wondering if I’ll ever dare an ascent and one day enjoy their views. That’s why I’m delighted to see the release of Crossway’s Christian Guides to the Classics. Now, I’ve got a boost to my confidence, a feasible course in front of me, and a world-class guide to assist along the way. In fact, Dr. Leland Ryken could scale these peaks in his sleep, having, for decades now, guided hundreds of students to a greater appreciation for the Classics. Lee combines scholarly acumen and Christian faith with uncluttered thinking and crystal-clear style in a way that virtually guarantees no one will get tangled-up in woods or wander off trail. The Classics are now within reach! I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about this series!”
Todd Wilson, President, Center for Pastor Theologians; author, Real Christian and The Pastor Theologian

“Students, teachers, homeschoolers, general readers, and even seasoned literature professors like me will find these Christian guides to classic works of literature invaluable. They demonstrate just what is so great about these ‘great books’ and illuminate their meanings in light of Christian truth. Reading these books along with the masterpieces they accompany is a literary education in itself, and there can be few better tutors and reading companions than Leland Ryken, a master Christian scholar and teacher.”
Gene Edward Veith Jr., Professor of Literature Emeritus, Patrick Henry College

“In an age when many elite universities have moved away from the classics, this series will help re-focus students and teachers on the essential works of the canon. More importantly, it will help present the classics from the perspective of the Judeo-Christian worldview upon which the university was built. These guides offer exactly the kind of resources needed to empower high school and college students (whether in public, private, classical-Christian, or home schools) to connect with the Great Books and to ask the kinds of questions that we all must ask if we are to understand our full status as creatures made in the image of God who have fallen but who can be redeemed.”
Louis Markos, Professor of English and Scholar in Residence, Houston Baptist University; author, From Achilles to Christ and Literature: A Student’s Guide

“It is hard to imagine a better guide than Leland Ryken to help readers navigate the classics. In an age in desperate need of recovering the permanent things, I am thankful that Crossway and Ryken have teamed up to produce excellent guides to help Christians take up and read the books which have shaped the western intellectual tradition.”
Bradley G. Green, Associate Professor of Christian Thought and Tradition, Union University; Writer-in-Residence, Tyndale House, Cambridge

Related Media:

Table of Contents:

Lyric Poems as Classics
Lyric Poems as a Genre
A Guide to Explicating Poetry
The Sonnet as a Verse Form
How Metaphor, Simile, and Allusion Work
The Content and Format of This Guide

John Donne

John Donne and His Poetry
Holy Sonnet 1: Thou Hast Made Me
Holy Sonnet 2: As Due by Many Titles I Resign
Holy Sonnet 4: O My Black Soul
Holy Sonnet 6: This Is My Play’s Last Scene
Holy Sonnet 7: At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners
Holy Sonnet 10: Death, Be Not Proud
Holy Sonnet 11: Spit in My Face, You Jews
Holy Sonnet 14: Batter My Heart
Holy Sonnet 15: Wilt Thou Love God as He Thee?
Meditation Seventeen from Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
From Sermon 7

George Herbert

George Herbert and His Poetry
The Pulley
The Agony
Love (III)
The Elixir
Easter (Song)
The Collar

John Milton

John Milton and His Sonnets
Sonnet 7: How Soon Hath Time
Sonnet 9: Lady That in the Prime of Earliest Youth
Sonnet 14: When Faith and Love
Sonnet 19: When I Consider How My Light Is Spent
Sonnet 23: Methought I Saw My Late Espouséd Saint

Further Resources
Glossary of Literary Terms Used in This Book


Category: Education
Format: Paperback
Case Quantity: 10
Page Count: 96
ISBN-10: 1-4335-4118-1
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-4118-6
Size: 5.25 in x 8.25 in
Weight: 4.1 ounces
Published: August 31, 2014