John Donne, I like you. A lot.
A scholar, a ladies man, a poet, and something of a rebel, you satirized the society of your time, married your bosses niece, and had twelve children with her. And if that weren't enough, you later became a priest and movingly delivered your own funeral sermon three weeks prior to your death.
Remarkable by any standards, good sir. You wrote, and lived, with style. You also enjoyed a good metaphor and used symbolism skillfully, making topics like unity and death and life more understandable. Take these two excerpts from Meditations XVII.
1. "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main."
2. "And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
You are a writer's writer, Mr. Donne. We love to borrow from your work and finding inspiration there, we create upon your greatness. (Hemingway certainly did, not to mention Simon and Garfunkel.)
And sometimes you took a cue from others. Christopher Marlowe's The Passionate Shepherd To His Love was posthumously published in 1599 and began with, "Come live with me, and be my love." Never a fool, you recognized a good line, and using Marlowe's first words, you made them even better in The Bait.