Holy Sonnet 10- John Donne

Poetry seems to be a frequent medium for expressing fear about death, hope for salvation, grief, loss, the effect of violence, and horrors of war. I grew to love poetry during college and have an affinity toward some of the darker works.  This poem one of my favorites. It expresses a belief in an afterlife and hope for salvation. As a mortuary archaeologist, I read something entirely different through it. Death is not the end of life. It is merely a moment. Our corporeal beings have lives long after our spirits die and archaeology is the medium through which that life speaks.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee, 5
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell, 10
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
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