Crash Test Dummies Blog

Written by Brad Roberts

16 Jun


i’ve been reading the recently (2006) published biography of the great english poet johne donne. it is called ‘the reformed soul’, and it is written by john stubbs. donne, for those who don’t know him, lived in the late 1500’s and early 1600’s. he wrote the words “do not ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee”. (the writer hemingway later quoted him, famously, in his own work.) this amazing man, both widely read at home and an experienced man of the world – he fought in two campaigns at sea – is as anguished about, as he is lustful for, life. he notes in a verse letter about his time in the military, that during a great and terrifying storm, the unprepared men were “equally/ grieved that they are not yet dead and yet must die” (lines 45-46 in “the storm”.) this is juicy stuff, no? check out his bio, and his poetry comes to life. i warmly recommend him.

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3 Responses to “JOHN DONNE”

  1. By Jason on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply

    I just wanted to say that you really do seem all jazzed up about the new release. I was honestly not that impressed about it, but as long as you love what you’re doing then who are people like me to say anything? At least you’re not selling out just to make money. It is a genuine sound.

  2. By Joseph on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply


    I have been soaking up your new album around my apartment for weeks–after lurking around to “Song of the Unforgiven” for the past couple of years, it’s a fresh and vibrant shift.

    You don’t run into a lot of Donne enthusiasts these days–I wonder if you have read “The Flea”–I feel like you might enjoy the bizarreness and passion of the extended metaphor. –Nothing makes me swoon like the academic inaccessible passion of the high modernists–your brief allusion to Eliot in “Afternoons and Coffeespoons” always pleased me, especially knowing now that it wasn’t an uninformed reference.

    I like your notes on what your currently reading.

    It’s great to hear your voice rattling my little computer speakers again!


  3. By Jane [la fille de la jungle] on Jul 5, 2010 | Reply

    Your premiere concert in Philadelphia was fantastique. Ooo c’est bonne ca!! I moved to Florida and tropic rain is falling but had just unpacked John Donne and my collection of old Ian Fleming paperbacks. Rain stopped and just saw a petite frog smaller than an this is a rainy Monday with your voice and music in the background and it is BEAUTIFUL!

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