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Take heed of loving mee,
At least remember I forbade it thee;
Not that I shall repaire my unthrifty wast
Of Breath and Blood, upon thy sighes and teares,
By being to thee then what to me thou wast;
But so, great Joy, our life at once outweares;
Then, lest thy love, by my death, frustrate bee,
If thou love mee, take heed of loving mee.

The Prohibition
John Donne (1572-1631)
Longmont, CO: PS Press, 2001
PR2247 P76 2001

English poet John Donne wrote often about love. This admonishment to a lover at the end of a liaison expresses the ambivalence of both loving and hating the once beloved. Donne’s twists and turns of thought, his admiration of paradox, are symbolized in the magic-wallet structure of this book. The book opens in a single spread with one stanza each on verso and recto. To finish reading the poem, the book must be closed and then opened again from the back cover where the fore edge reveals, as a hidden resolution, the third stanza.

Illustrated with anatomical drawings of the human heart and arteries, the production uses handset type, letterpress and monoprint, paper over board, bound with Daniel Kelm’s wire-edge binding. Edition of fifteen copies.


Take heed of hating mee,
Or too much triumph in the victorie;
Not that I shall be mine owne officer,
And hate with hate againe retaliate;
But thou wilt lose the stile of conquerour,
If I, thy conquest, perish by thy hate.
Then, lest my being nothing lessen thee,
If thou hate mee, take heed of hating mee.

Yet love and hate mee too;
So these extreames shall neithers office doe;
Love mee, that I may die the gentler way;
Hate mee, because thy love’s too great for mee;
Or let these two, themselves, not mee, decay;
So shall I live thy stage, not triumph bee.
Lest thou thy love and hate, and mee undo,
O let mee live, yet love and hate mee too.