John Donne

(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631 / London, England)

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Death Be Not Proud


Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
........................
........................
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Comments about this poem (Death Be Not Proud by John Donne )

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  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (4/21/2014 9:36:00 AM)

    The poet took subject of death in its pure essence and facing the ultimate end of life in its correct spirit and face the challenge in extreme strength of mind. I like the poem very much. (Report) Reply

  • Barockeuse Ange (1/25/2014 9:15:00 AM)

    Dommage que le lecteur du poème n'ai pas l'accent voulu! Ni anglais ancien, ni anglais moderne.. Ce poème lu ainsi ne sonne pas du tout comme John Donne l'a entendu, fait entendre... Que diriez-vous si je le lisais, moi, avec un fort accent frenchy?
    Any english speaker with some knowledge of old english? ? ? I would very much appreciate!

    As for this peculiar poem.. I love it very much. It is very witty and humorous! ! !

    Thanks John! (Report) Reply

  • Salvador Oria (7/12/2013 11:16:00 AM)

    Many of us students of English as a foreign language (and poets ourselves) , have read and analised more than once this awsome poem, where Donne, in a way, despises Death as a kind of impostor. But I never dreamt of, that there might come a day, that I’d find a blog where someone as Narasimha Swamy K L, taking the Leveller’s place, would reply Donne as he deserved! Great lines Narasimha. Thank you! (Report) Reply

  • Salvador Oria (7/12/2013 11:10:00 AM)

    Many of us students of English as a foreign language, have read and analised more than once this awsome poem, where Donne, in a way, despises Death as a kind of impostor. But I never dreamt of, that there might come a day, that I’d find a blog where someone as Narasimha Swamy K L did, taking the Leveller’s place, would reply Donne as he deserved! Great lines Narasimha. Thank you! (Report) Reply

  • Salvador Oria (7/12/2013 11:09:00 AM)

    Many of us students of English as a foreign language, have read and analised more than once this awsome poem, where Donne, in a way, despises Death as a kind of impostor. But I never dreamt of, that there might come a day, that I’d find a blog where someone as Narasimha Swamy K L did, taking the Leveller’s place, would reply Donne as he deserved! Great lines Narasimha. Thank you! (Report) Reply

  • Stephen W (4/21/2013 5:00:00 PM)

    Stroke, in this context, does not necessarily signify a light touch, as MR has said. In olden times it could signify a sweeping blow with an axe or sword, as in 'he decapitated him with a single stroke of the axe.' In modern times it is used to describe such sweeping movements as golf or cricket strokes, certainly in British English, though this may be less familiar to the US reader. (Report) Reply

  • Narasimha Swamy K L (1/9/2013 2:22:00 AM)

    Poor John, It is thee; thou Mankind who ride on Pride.
    Thee call me Mighty and Dreadful, for, Almighty bequeath
    Thee with all the connivance, To get His Holy Son Crucified.
    Thee claim I Overthrow, Though I Overlook thou Vice
    I Die Not, Poor John, for thee overkill mee
    Much Pleasure, For, Rest and Sleep being My pictures
    Mee slave to fate, chance, kings and desperate men, For,
    Thee being slave to Greed, Delusion and Callous Brainwork.
    Poyson, Warre and sicknesse being thou Brainchild
    Mee battle to bury the dirt out of thou children’s sight.
    Thee abuse poppy and charmes in vain to behold sleep
    Though I befriend only pure and pristine.
    One short sleep, thee wake eternally to embrace the filth
    And Death shall be no more with thee, for, I die with thee!
    Donne with John (Report) Reply

  • Memo Rexem (12/18/2012 2:10:00 AM)

    Caleb, you're a fool and a harlot. This poem was written in the 1550-1650s, where this WAS common language. Spellings tend to change, over 400 years. You need to translate and adapt, or be stuck with your Dover Beach trash and it's ilk.

    @Charlotte Westbury - Stroake = Stroke, like a light touch. Wondering if it wasn't better to take the poppies and charms, to sleep by his own hand, rather than be struck down by death's touch due to sickness and old age or a sword on some foreign battlefield. (Report) Reply

  • Caleb Joyce (8/21/2012 4:39:00 AM)

    Well...I'm a fan and advocate of poetry written according to Wordsworth's ideals, outlined in his 'Preface to the Lyrical Ballads.' This poem is the farthest thing from that. Poetry should be written in every day language, and strike a note with the reader allowing him to relate to it, while still being able to get the author's point across...this poem doesn't give me any sense of familiarity and is by no means conversational. Give me Dover Beach over this any day. (Report) Reply

  • Alok Mishra (4/21/2012 3:47:00 AM)

    This poem is one I had a reading when I did my +2. Now I see this with a different eye... It is so deep in sense, so great in style and so amazing as a whole! (Report) Reply

  • Claudia Krizay (4/21/2011 5:24:00 PM)

    I like this poem because it reminds me of John Gunther's book about his son who died of brain cancer 'Death Be Not Proud' -a very moving poem with a lot of meaning and depth- (Report) Reply

  • Kimberly Kastner (11/28/2010 2:48:00 PM)

    It's about how even though we die physically, our souls still live on forever. Death can never, ever take our souls and spirits away, and so It/He should 'be not proud.' Great poem; I liked it even though it took me a while to decipher ye olde spelling! : -) (Report) Reply

  • Adriana Salomon (4/21/2010 6:19:00 PM)

    awesome! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (4/21/2010 5:45:00 AM)

    Donne here personifies death, just as love is often personified in poetry. I do not believe he is assuaging his own fear of death, Donne, I feel was a spritual hero. He is satirising death here, whom some think mighty, because he believes that death, despite his universal activity, is but the door to a better life. I imagine Donne having a good laugh at death's expense as he writes this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (4/21/2010 2:55:00 AM)

    Death is just as birth in the world! Then why should we be afraid of death at all? (Report) Reply

  • Andrew Hoellering (10/16/2009 3:20:00 AM)

    'Death thou shalt die' is superb affrontery in the face of a force that men fear as all-conquering.Donne may well be assuaging his own fears, but what he produces by way of reassurance is an immortal poem. (Report) Reply

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