Donne, I believe, would approve of A. S. Byatt’s description of him as a “glassy” poet: he often employs the metaphor of mirror, eye or glass as an image for the ephemeral and liminal nature of poetry, in which self and other are merged, and the notion of presence and absence is suspended in riddling verse.1 Donne’s poetry is as elusive yet precise as those “Toyes / Of glassy bubles”, which the “Gamesome boies” in Metempsychosis “[s]tretch to soe Nice a Thinnes through a Quill / That they themselves break, do themselves spill” (115-17).2 The image of spilling oneself through a quill links sexuality and excess to the act of writing, which Donne perceives as partaking in both body and spirit. Donne offers Metempsychosis to the reader as a riddle. The ludic, “[g]amesome” narrative is continually punctuated by authorial asides, disrupting any notion of reality and drawing attention to the artifice of the poem and the play between reader, text and author. Addressing the reader in a prefatory prose epistle, the narrator states that this poem will relate the wandering soul’s adventures as she journeys through various bodies from her beginning in paradise in that “Aple which Eue eat, to this Time when she is he whose life yow shall find in the end of this booke” (33-4). The riddle invites the reader to discover the identity of the seemingly hermaphroditic final embodiment of the soul, and to speculate with the author on the nature of existence itself: “Wonder with me” (513).