by John Donne
Analysis: Calling Card
Apostrophe – "Oh, Thou! I Love Thou!"
John Donne must have been a very direct person, because his speakers always seem to be looking in the eye of some off-stage figure, and speaking to him or her directly. This off-stage figure usually happens to be either his lover or God. This poetic device is called "apostrophe," and countless English poets have employed it, especially during the Renaissance. Check out Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress," or Donne's own, "The Flea," for other examples. But few poets have been able to use apostrophe to another person (or to divinity) as effectively or consistently as Donne has.