Divine introductions dating
The poems explore the wages of sin and death, the doctrine of redemption, opening "the sinner to God, imploring God's forceful intervention by the sinner's willing acknowledgment of the need for a drastic onslaught upon his present hardened state" and that "self-recognition is a necessary means to grace." Donne is concerned about the future state of his soul, fearing not the quick sting of death but the need to achieve salvation before damnation and a desire to get one's spiritual affairs in order.
The poems are "suffused with the language of bodily decay" expressing a fear of death that recognizes the impermanence of life by descriptions of his physical condition and inevitability of "mortal flesh" compared with an eternal afterlife.
Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967), regarded as the "father of the Atomic Bomb", named the site of the first nuclear weapon test site "Trinity" after a phrase from Donne's Sonnet XIV.
At the time of the preparations for the test on 16 July 1945 Oppenheimer reportedly was reading Holy Sonnets.
Donne's work, both in love poetry and religious poetry, places him as a central figure in among the Metaphysical poets.