"Death Be Not Proud"

So I was just thinking…
Some would wonder how this post came about; black has been associated with many things deemed evil and diabolical, of which death is a part. Also, there’s this poem (did I mention I like poems?) I read in school and it changed my thinking about this inevitable reality called ‘death’. We elude this topic because I realized that most of us are actually scared of it… I was too… but what’s the point of being afraid of an inevitability? So I had to change my mindset, and the poem influenced that.
If you ask me, I say we give too much power to death.
What is death? A phase between mortality and immortality.
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“Death Be Not Proud” – by John Donne, one of the founders of Metaphysical poetry – poetic style of the early 17th century by poets through the use of elaborate metaphors that compare dissimilar thing and relates to the study of nature, beings and the supernatural (Encarta Dictionary).
Here’s the poem.

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou’art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy’or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

  • John Donne

I analyzed the poem to what I feel can be said to be ‘the best of my ability’. Here’s what I think.
The poet addresses ‘death’. This sonnet (a poem of 14 lines) serves as an apostrophe. Donne in this poem talks directly to ‘death’. He tells ‘death’ not to be proud, though it has been regarded as “mighty and dreadful”. He argues that those that it thinks it has “overthrown”, that is those that have died, actually “die not” and neither will he (lines 3-4). He further compares death to mere rest and sleep, showing how powerless it is.
‘Death’ takes good people young, he says (lines 7-8), because “much pleasure” comes from it as they leave this cruel world to a better place for eternity. He considers death a slave to “Fate, Chance, Kings, and desperate men” as people die due to the actions of men. He argues that drugs and charms – “poppy’” – can make us sleep as well, so why does death consider itself ferocious and intimidating? (Lines 11 and 12).
Donne concludes saying that Death is one “short sleep” and you’d wake up to eternity.
This last line gets me so much – “and death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die.”
In eternity, there’ll be no death, because death itself would die.
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
I just combined this post. As for what I’m wearing, a floral wide-sleeved shirt, black pencil skirt, gold W choker.


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