Flea By John Donne
Conceits on John Donne’s "The Flea" John Donne was born into an old Roman

Catholic family. At age 11 he entered the University of Oxford, where he studied
for three years. He spent the next three years at the University on Cambridge,
but took no degree at either university. In 1593, Donne’s younger brother died
in prison after being arrested for harboring a priest. Donne relinquished his

Roman Catholic faith and joined the Anglican Church. His first book of poems,

Satires, was written during this period and was considered one of Donne’s most
important literary efforts. Songs and Sonnets was also written about this same
time. Donne sat in Queen Elizabeth’s last parliament until 1601, when he
secretly married seventeen-year-old Anne More, and was thereby imprisoned.

During the next few years Donne made a meager living as a lawyer. As Donne
approached forty, he published two anti-Catholic polemics that pledged an oath
of allegiance to James I, king of England, and won him the favor of the king. He
was appointed Royal Chaplain later that year. In due course, he was appointed

Reader in Divinity at Lincoln’s Inn Anne Donne died in 1617, aged thirty-three
after giving birth to their twelfth child. Donne continued to write poetry. In

1621 James I appointed him dean of Saint Paul’s Cathedral; he held that
position until his death.