Bust of John Donne, St Pauls

Where: Garden outside St Pauls Cathedral

What: A statue of poet John Donne with his face turned towards Bread Street, the place of his birth. At the base of the sculpture are the points of the compass which reference his metaphysical work. According to the St Paul’s website: “The directions of the compass were important to Donne in his metaphysical work: east is the Rising Sun, the Holy Land and Christ, while west is the place of decline and of death.”


On the plinth:
John Donne, poet and divine, 1572-1631

Hence is’t, that I am carried towards the West,
This day, when my Soul’s form bends to the East

On the back of the left shoulder:
True virtu is soule, allways in all deeds all

On the points of the compass:
dean – St Paul’s Cathedral (north)
reader – Lincoln’s Inn (east)
married – Anne More of Losely (south)
birthplace – Bread Street (west)

Material: bronze sculpture, stone pedestal and base

Artist: Lettering by Andrew Whittle; bronze bust by Nigel Boonham

Date: 2012

Further information:

Further images:

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