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The Flea

The Flea

by John Donne

The Flea Resources

Websites

The Poetry Foundation

The Foundation's website has the best long biography of Donne we've seen online.

Luminarium

This site includes a huge selection of Donne's poems, sermons, and essays, all of which are brilliant.

Video

British Actor Reads "The Flea"
The great British actor Julian Glover reads "The Flea." The best part is when the camera zooms out to reveal...a bed!

Audio

"Flea" Audio
Click the play button above the image to hear a reading of the poem.

Images

"The Flea"

This painting by Giuseppe Maria Crespi, titled "The Flea," could almost serve as an illustration for the poem.

A Real Flea

Did you ever notice that fleas look like alien creatures?

Historical Documents

1633 Edition of "The Flea"
A great resource: you can look at a scanned copy of the first edition of Donne's poetry, published after his death in 1633. Check out all the crazy Renaissance spellings.

Books

The Variorum Edition of the Poems of John Donne

If you really want to be a Donne scholar, you should get your hands on this multivolume edition of his collected works. It's the authoritative version.

Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe, by William Rosen

This book is apparently an example of "microbial history." It describes how the first outbreak of the Bubonic Plague (carried by fleas!) changed the history of Europe.

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