Thursday, July 5, 2012

Updated: John Donne Returns to St Paul's

There is a new statue of Donne, which is located on the grounds of St Paul's Cathedral, on the southeast corner, between the east end of the building and the street that is called, at that point, St Paul's Churchyard, according to Google Maps, but which is also known in that area of London as Ludgate Hill and Cannon Street.

The statue was erected this year, according to a sign on the statue.

UPDATE: There is a detailed account on the website of St Paul's, HERE, including a fine image of our Advisory Board member Peter McCullough who assisted at the unveiling of the statue on 15 June 2012.

According to this account, the statue was commissioned by the City of London, under the leadership of Alderman Robert Hall, the sculptor was Nigel Boonham FRBS, and the stone carver responsible for the elegant lettering was Andrew Whittle.

The inscription on the plinth says, "John Donne/poet and divine/1572-1631."  At the base of the statue is a quote from Donne's "Good Friday 1613, Riding Westward": Hence is't, that I am carried towards the West,
This day, when my Soul's form bends to the East.

The base has pointers toward the 4 cardinal directions, and the inscriptions note important events in Donne's career --  (for east) "birthplace/Bread Street,"  (for south) married/Anne More of Losely," (for west) reader/Lincoln's Inn, and (for north), "dean/St Paul's Cathedral."

The statue itself seems to be modeled on the portrait of Donne as Dean that hangs today in the library of the Deanery at St Paul's. Always good to be reminded of Donne's connections to St Paul's.

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