Published: 2018-09-291

Should one be afraid of death?John Donne and the Poetic Mystery of Immortality

Dorota Gładkowska


It seems that J. Donne’s metaphysical vision of the world has been described in detail. However, there still remains an aspect of his poetry that is not fully appreciated, which results from the separation of his love lyrics (Songs and Sonnets) from the religious sonnets (Holy Sonnets). In this article I aim to reveal the structural and thematic bonds between Donne’s poems from both collections. They definitely reinterpret one another and together complete the picture of the world in which immortality is achieved through love and unity. Thanks to the exceptional fusion of structure and sense, Donne’s works become a phenomenon that can be observed and an intellectual puzzle. The poet’s creative genius carries the reader to deeper and deeper levels of interpretation, constantly leaving them with a sense of incompleteness and the need to search the stanzas for another element, which may bring them a little closer to the concept of Death, be not proud […] or The Canonization. Donne not only creates a poetic world in which death is not „mighty and dreadful”, but also allows the reader to experience it through the composition of his verses.


metaphysical concept, love, unity, death, immortality, sonnet

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Gładkowska, D. (2018). Should one be afraid of death?John Donne and the Poetic Mystery of Immortality. Prace Literaturoznawcze, (2). Retrieved from

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