Death Be Not Proud


I was in the Boston Common as I was walking back from the Park Street T station. I had my backpack on since I had just traveled from home and I felt for a second like a summer tourist. This is partly because of the sixty degree weather in middle December, however I was in the site seeing mood. So, as I past some of the monuments I stopped to take a look and read for a second. History has always interested me. What I noticed though is that a lot of the statues, which were dedicated to a specific person began with something along the lines of "Died in 1823, blah blah blah".

Here I realized how odd it is to start a monument for someone with there death. Why do we feel the need to always preface a monument to someone with their death? In fact I am not really sure why we would even include death unless done in noble fashion. I mean do we credit death as being that important, that we feel the need to give it precedence over any other information about this man or woman. This brings me to a poem that is featured in the play "Wit" by Margaret Edson known as Holy Sonnet X.

It reads:
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,
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,
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.

I am thinking about turning a line of it into a tattoo possibly



Neil Everett said...

"Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men." is a pretty good line. If you do this you won't be able to be buried in a Jewish cemetery. Bright Eyes has a lot of good snippets that might make good tattoos. That's what Brad is thinking about anyway.

Andrew (F.E.U.) Lippman said...

Yea I realize the Jewish thing but I think I want to be cremated anyways. I have never liked sitting in one place for very long.

bella18337 said...

what about being spread out in montana? lol