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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index D > John Donne Quotes

John Donne
(1572 - 31 Mar 1631)

English poet.

Science Quotes by John Donne (10 quotes)

A mathematical point is the most indivisble and unique thing which art can present.
— John Donne
Letters, 21. 1817. In Robert Ιdouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica (1914), 295.
Science quotes on:  |  Indivisible (7)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Point (72)  |  Unique (24)

And new philosophy calls all in doubt,
The Element of fire is quite put out;
The Sun is lost, and th’earth, and no mans wit
Can well direct him where to look for it.
And freely men confesse that this world’s spent,
When in the Planets, and the Firmament
They seeke so many new; and then see that this
Is crumbled out againe to his Atomies.
’Tis all in pieces, all cohaerence gone;
All just supply, and all Relation;
Prince, Subject, Father, Sonne, are things forgot,
For every man alone thinkes he hath got
To be a phoenix, and that then can bee
None of that kinde, of which he is, but hee.
— John Donne
An Anatomie of the World, I. 205-18. The Works of John Donne (Wordsworth edition 1994), 177.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (251)  |  Poem (85)

Batter my heart, three-personed God …
— John Donne
Holy Sonnets, No. 14. Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 164
Science quotes on:  |  God (454)  |  Heart (110)

I am a little world made cunningly
Of elements, and an angelic sprite.
— John Donne
'Holy Sonnet V' (1618). In John Donne, Edmund Kerchever Chambers and George Saintsbury, Poems of John Donne (1896), 159.

Let me arrest thy thoughts; wonder with me, why plowing, building, ruling and the rest, or most of those arts, whence our lives are blest, by cursed Cain’s race invented be, and blest Seth vexed us with Astronomy.
— John Donne
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Arrest (5)  |  Art (205)  |  Astronomy (175)  |  Build (80)  |  Curse (9)  |  Invent (30)  |  Let (30)  |  Live (186)  |  Plow (6)  |  Race (76)  |  Rest (64)  |  Rule (135)  |  Thou (4)  |  Thought (374)  |  Wonder (134)

On a huge hill, Cragged, and steep, Truth stands, and hee that will
Reach her, about must, and about must goo.
— John Donne
Satyre, III, I. 79-81. The Works of John Donne (Wordsworth edition 1994), 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Truth (750)

Poore soule, in this thy flesh what do'st thou know?
Thou know'st thy selfe so little, as thou know'st not.
How thou did'st die, nor how thou wast begot.
Thou neither know'st how thou at first camest in,
Nor how thou took'st the poyson of mans sin.
Nor dost thou, (though thou know'st, that thou art so)
By what way thou art made immortall, know.
Thou art too narrow, wretch, to comprehend
Even thy selfe; yea though thou wouldst but bend
To know thy body. Have not all soules thought
For many ages, that our body'is wrought
Of Ayre, and Fire, and other Elements?
And now they thinke of new ingredients,
And one soule thinkes one, and another way
Another thinkes, and 'tis an even lay.
Knowst thou but how the stone doth enter in
The bladder's Cave, and never breake the skin?
Knowst thou how blood, which to the hart doth flow,
Doth from one ventricle to th'other go?
And for the putrid stuffe, which thou dost spit,
Knowst thou how thy lungs have attracted it?
There are no passages, so that there is
(For aught thou knowst) piercing of substances.
And of those many opinions which men raise
Of Nailes and Haires, dost thou know which to praise?
What hope have we to know our selves, when wee
Know not the least things, which for our use bee?
— John Donne
Of the Progresse of the Soule. The Second Anniversarie, I. 254-280. The Works of John Donne (Wordsworth edition 1994), 196-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (59)  |  Blood (95)  |  Element (129)  |  Lung (17)  |  Poem (85)

Starres by the Sun are not inlarg’d but showne.
Gentle love deeds, as blossomes on a bough,
From loves awaken’d root doe bud out now.
If, as in water stir’d more circles bee
Produc’d by one, love such additions take,
Those like to many spheares, but one heaven make,
For, they are all concentrique unto thee.
— John Donne
From poem 'Loves Growth'in Poems on Several Occasions (1719), 23-24.
Science quotes on:  |  Addition (22)  |  Awakened (2)  |  Blossom (9)  |  Bough (6)  |  Bud (4)  |  Circle (28)  |  Deed (17)  |  Enlarge (15)  |  Gentle (4)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Love (164)  |  Produced (8)  |  Root (48)  |  Shine (22)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Star (251)  |  Stirred (3)  |  Sun (211)  |  Water (244)

Who vagrant transitory comets sees,
Wonders because they’re rare; but a new star
Whose motion with the firmament agrees,
Is miracle; for there no new things are.
— John Donne
Science quotes on:  |  Agree (19)  |  Comet (43)  |  Firmament (11)  |  Miracle (55)  |  Motion (127)  |  New (340)  |  Rare (31)  |  Star (251)  |  Transitory (3)  |  Vagrant (4)  |  Wonder (134)

Why grass is green, or why our blood is red
Are mysteries which none have reach’d unto.
— John Donne
Science quotes on:  |  Blood (95)  |  Grass (30)  |  Green (23)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Optics (15)  |  Red (25)  |  Research (517)



Quotes by others about John Donne (1)

A million million spermatozoa,
All of them alive:
Out of their cataclysm but one poor Noah
Dare hope to survive.
And among that billion minus one
Might have chanced to be Shakespeare, another Newton, a new Donne—
But the One was Me.
'Fifth Philosopher's Song', Leda (1920),33.
Science quotes on:  |  Genetics (98)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  William Shakespeare (90)  |  Sperm (6)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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- 90 -
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- 40 -
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- 20 -
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