In celebration of national poetry month, there will be a reading of 17th century metaphysical poet John Donne at the Old Whaling Church at 4 p.m. on April 19. The program will also include the music of William Byrd and other composers from the English Renaissance. Donne’s work will be read by John Ortman and Elizabeth Villard, who will be joined by Matt Pelikan on recorder and violin, and Jan Hyer on cello.

Phrases from Donne’s work, including “Death be not proud” and “No man is an island,” have become part of modern vernacular. This program is an opportunity to hear the full works from which those phrases were harvested. Donne is probably best known for his witty and sensual love poetry. This work was written when he was a young man, working as a soldier and secretary for English diplomats. By 1615, his vision had changed and he entered the Anglican ministry. From that time on, his writing reflects his passionate love of God, while retaining his remarkable wit and powerful imagery.

The program is part of the United Methodist’s afternoon services of poetry and music. The program is free, but a freewill offering will be collected. For details, call 508-627-2529.