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A Poem for Easter

March 23, 2008

Some may think that poetry is out of place in a blog on historical theology. I beg to differ. Sometimes poetry beautifully expresses the truths of Scripture. Thus, I submit for your consideration a poem by John Donne (1572-1631):

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
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 poison, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better than they stroake; why swell’st though then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be nor more; death, thou shalt die.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2008 8:50 pm

    I love this poem. Welcome to the blogosphere!

  2. Adam Winters permalink
    March 23, 2008 10:02 pm

    For the record, this isn’t just a church history blog, though your poem does have historical reference. Nice job, Matt. I guess I’m the only man left to put up a real post. Looks like it’s playoff time and the pressure is on!

  3. Kelly Mikhailiuk permalink
    April 3, 2008 10:16 am

    Who says historical theology can’t be poetic…or poetry theological? Literature is full of theology; the question is: “what kind?” Thankfully, this bit of literary theology rings true.

    Actually, this is one of my favorites from Donne’s “Holy Sonnets,” and I think it’s an excellent addition to the blog. Taras wrote a paper on this sonnet for a literature class last semester, and he’s writing a paper on another of Donne’s holy sonnets right now (Sonnet XIV: “Batter my heart, three-personed God…”). He found an article about Augustine’s influence on Donne, especially in his “Holy Sonnets.” I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but it looks very interesting.

    Thanks for the post, Matt, and for the reminder that theology and literature are not (nor should they be) strangers. As a student of theology who is married to a literature major, I appreciate this fact!:-)

    P.S. I am very happy to have “stumbled” upon this excellent blog the other day. I look forward to reading it more in the future! Thanks, guys!

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