Explication Death of be not proud, a poem by John Donne, assignment help

Death be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadful, for thou art 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.

Death don’t get a big head, though some think you

Terrifying and Strong, because you aren’t

Because, those people, that you believe you have defeated,

Never die, sad death, and you aren’t able to destroy me.

From relaxation and clumber, which are just copies of you,

We get a lot of Joy, then death, must be an unending stream,

Too early the most wonderful people will leave with you,

Their tired bones will sleep, and their soul will be content.

You are controlled by destiny, luck, rulers, and worried men,

And you live with toxins, destruction, disease,

And drugs and wards can send us dreaming too,

They do a better job than you; why are you so cocky;

On nap, and then everlasting life,

Death is gone, and death, you are defeated.

You have been practicing explication poetry. Now, you will formalize your skills in a paper. This assignment is the first draft; you will have three total drafts (the third draft will be the final draft). Do not lose any of these drafts.


Select any one of the poems you have read thus far (of course, you may use any notes and assignments you have completed already!). Paraphrase and explicate it.


Step One: The Paraphrase

  • Create a two-column table. You will have the original poem with the title and author in the left column. In the right column, paraphrase the poem, keeping the perspective and tense, line by line.

Step Two: The Explication

  • Write an essay that clearly explicates the poem. Explain the content/message/theme of the poem and discuss the effect of its rhetorical and poetic devices.
    • The introduction will introduce the author and title of the work. Your thesis should state the central thematic statement of the poem and tie it to rhetoric/syntax.
    • You will need to tackle one stanza at a time, dealing with every line in the poem. Include specific claims, integrated textual evidence, and thorough warrants. Evidence must be quoted and cited.
    • Make sure to include the vocabulary, rhetorical devices, and purposeful grammar you have learned this year.
    • The conclusion should not be a summary. Instead, end by focusing on the concluding lines of the poem to tie everything together, discussing a larger pattern of the poem, or incorporating research and relating it to your thoughts.

    I’ve already completed step one all you need to do is complete step two.