Death Be Not Proud

John Donne (1572 - 1631)

This week we’re marking the American Memorial Day with eleven readings of a John Donne poem. Memorial Day was conceived as a time to remember military men and women who had lost their lives in war. Kings and presidents come and go and some of the reasons that wars have come about are now lost from memory or are obscured in our history texts.

A consistent aspect of war is that those who fight them are not those who arrange them. The soldiers and sailors who suffer loss of limb, scarred minds or forfeit their lives mostly come from the lower and middle rungs of our societal ladder. They are our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters.

Once gone, it is the family who notices the empty chair at the family table while society at large knows not their name. Death has captured them and taken them forever from our midst. It has become personal and not a vague philosophical idea. The theme of Donne’s poem is that, though Death is irresistible, it has no cause to be proud. The human spirit and its hope for redemption is indomitable. This was the weekly poetry project for the week of May 27th, 2006.
(Summary by Robert Garrison)

Genre(s): Poetry, Multi-version (Weekly and Fortnightly poetry)

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Chapter 01 Andrew Miller
Play 02 Chapter 02 Annie Coleman Rothenberg
Play 03 Chapter 03 Dreama Lynn
Play 04 Chapter 04 Graham Williams
Play 05 Chapter 05 Kristin Hughes (1974-2021)
Play 06 Chapter 06 Kymm Zuckert
Play 07 Chapter 07 Fox in the Stars
Play 08 Chapter 08 Martin Clifton
Play 09 Chapter 09 Peter Yearsley
Play 10 Chapter 10 Robert Garrison
Play 11 Chapter 11 Tina Tilney