-Responses for "Holy Sonnet X" (F14)
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TimestampChoose your classYour HouseYour name1. What clues does the poem's title give you about the theme of the poem? 2. Who is the speaker of the poem? 3. Who is the audience for the poem? 4a. “Holy Sonnet X” is an elegiac poem—a meditation on the meaning of death and humankind’s mortality set up as the speaker’s address to Death. The speaker argument has four parts: the first tells Death what s/he is not. What does Death think s/he is? 4b. The second part of the argument reveals Death as a type of sleep. How does this comparison deflate the importance of Death?4c. The third part of the argument ridicules Death's station in the scheme of the universe. Who, according to the speaker, usually commands Death? With whom does Death hang out? How effective is Death's "stroke"? (In Donne's time, Death was sometimes pictured armed with a spear--see the picture above).4d. The last part of the argument concludes that even Death her/himself is subject to death. How is this possible? (Tip: the word “holy” in the title indicates that the speaker is religious, so…)5. "Holy Sonnet X" is a fourteen-line sonnet in loose iambic pentameter (five beats) and rhyming ABBAABBACDCDEE. Traditionally, sonnets are love poems. Is Donne following this traditional function of the sonnet, subverting it in some way, or sort of both? If he is somewhat following the tradition of the sonnet, for whom is the speaker expressing love? 7a. What is the tone of the poem? 7b. From what key words or phrases did you deduce the poem's tone?8. Figures of speech/Symbol/ Allusion: Choose the category that best fits each phrase. ["Death, be not proud"]8. Figures of speech/Symbol/ Allusion: Choose the category that best fits each phrase. ["Death"]8. Figures of speech/Symbol/ Allusion: Choose the category that best fits each phrase. ["rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be"]8. Figures of speech/Symbol/ Allusion: Choose the category that best fits each phrase. ["Death, thou shalt die"]9. Based on all the above, what is poem's central viewpoint or insight about Death (and, perhaps, Love)?
PINK= You got itBLUE= Message from Dr. XRED= Nope
9/20/2014 14:47:16
5812 (5:45)
George Young
It may have something to do with religion.John Donne

Dr. X: Nope--conflating author and speaker. Remember they may be different.
DeathProud, Mighty,and DreadfulSleep is something everyone is okay with, it does not arise any fear or anxiety to most people. We know sleep as only temporary.Fate, chance , kings, and desperate men, command death. Death hangs out with poison, war and sickness.this means that after people die, Death do not exist anymore.
This is a religious poem and religious people believe in life after death..
He is expressing love for eternal life. Religious people believe in life after death.

Dr. X: Good thinking. For someone who is religious, WHO is the one that grants humans life after death? Therefore, this is a love sonnet for whom?
passionate/ardent, somber/grim/grave, defiant/resistant"Die not poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me"
"One short sleep past, we wake eternally, and death shall;; be no more."
Personification ApostropheMetaphorParadox (and Irony)That death comes around, but he will not win.
The poem has figured death out, labeled it, and is ready to bypass it, knowing what it is capable of.
3/22/2015 14:30:50(2:15)PLATHCobain94the clue I interpret is about religion, faith, ex: ChristianityA maleDeaththe speaker is telling death she/he is not mighty and dreadful.what I undestand is when the speaker compares death to sleep or rest is that is transitory.the speaker tells death she/he is a slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men. Also the speakers tells death she/he "hang outs" with poison, war and sickness. he compares death's stroke is weaker than a stroke of a poppy(flower)as the titles suggests with the word "holy" it implies the speaker is religious, hence the time the sonnet was written (1601-1610?). he tells death that she/is transitory or temporary(Death you are a nap) because as a Christian follower, the speaker believes in eternal life.the speaker may follows the structure of a sonnet, but not the traditional love poem. if he really expressing love, the speaker might profess to his savior/God. since he believes he will have eternal life. happy/ecstatic/joyful, defiant/resistant"for thou are not so", "death sall be no more". "death, thou shall die"ApostrophePersonification MetaphorApostrophethe poem central viewpoint is the speaker or mankind triumph over death.

Dr. X: Not bad, but it is not mankind's triumph but WHOSE?
3/22/2015 22:25:12(5:45)PlathmadonnaThe title sets the tone for a religious poem.John DonneDeathDeath knows he is the final fate for every person. Death believes there is no afterlife.Sleeping is described when the deceased body is viewed by the public. But, viewing the body should be seen as the deceased living in eternal life.Death follows the life of each man. Death hangs out during wars and illnesses.Death can die because the speaker believes in eternal life.The religious aspect of the poem, I think, explains how death can I think the speak is expressing love for the calling to live without pain. After death, the speaker explains how death is not viewed as sorrowful. The poem is used to express the love of life and that life doesn't not end when death has arrived.sincere/honestThe quote,"Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so", stood out to me because the speaker describes the opposite feelings of how death is viewed. I thought this statement set the tone of the poem.Personification Personification MetaphorParadox (and Irony)Death only ends the existence of the human body. The soul continues to live in eternity.
3/23/2017 15:03:56
Hrishav AryalThe title "Holy Sonnet X" gives us the clue that the poem is more religious in content. The word "Holy" itself is enough for predicting the theme of the poem. The title represents that this poem is 10th series, so it must be a part of whole religious message Donne wants to convey.Unknown/UnclearDeathIn the poem, Death is represented in such a way that he thinks he is the superior one, and that he controls life and death.In general, people think death to be fearful and wish that Death stays away. So Death has an importance in our life. Regarding Death as a sleep makes us fearless with Death, and questions on his existence. So, comparing him with a type of sleep undoubtedly deflate his importance.I am not sure about who commands Death. I think God commands him. And Death's stroke is not so good. Speaker tells that even the poppy and charms of this world can make us feel better than Death's stroke. So, it is not effective at all.Death himself is subject to death means that there will be a time with no existence of Death. Donne, being religious, believes in afterlife, so, he thinks after a short sleep has past, which people regard as death, we wake up in eternity, where there is no existence of Death. So, Death himself is subject to death in the eternal life.I think Donne is not following the tradition of sonnets, which are love poems. This poem is more of a religious poem where Donne takes an assertive stand against mortality. I don't think there is any sign of love represented in this sonnet.
thoughtful/contemplative, angry/bitter/offended, defiant/resistant
"Death, be not proud," depicts that the speaker is angry. "Die not, poor death" and "poppy'or charms can make us sleep well" represents the speaker is giving proof for Death's unimportance. So, the tone is more defiant/resistant. Overall, this poem lets us to meditate the existence of death, so, the tone might be thoughtful/contemplative.
ApostrophePersonification MetaphorPersonification Poem's central viewpoint about Death is that Death is not superior and that there is nothing that makes him stand above us.
3/27/2017 3:00:45
Francisco RussoThe poems title tells me that the theme most likely is related to religion. Often times the word "holy" is linked to the word God. Therefore the poems title gave me a clue that the poem will have a sacred or religious meaning. Unknown/UnclearDeathDeath thinks s/he is "might" and "dreadful". Death thinks it should be feared by everyone and everything. The line also mentions how Death thinks it has the ability to "overthrow", which suggests that it will kill. Death thinks its very powerful.Comparing Death to sleep deflates the importance of Death because sleep is peaceful, relaxing and something most of us enjoy. So to compare death to sleep makes death seem not so almighty and scary. Also it makes death seem like it will bring us happiness or enjoyment when it comes for us.According to the speaker, Death is usually commanded by "fate,chance,kings, and desperate men." Sometimes Death is taken by "fate" meaning that there is no control over when it happens,it just does. Sometimes Death occurs by "chance" or almost on accident, or by "kings" which can mean that its done by another human being or someone with control, or by a "desperate" man. The next line in the poem tells that Death hangs out with poison,war and sickness, which are all ways that many people often die from. I think Death's stroke is very effective. It comes at different times, sometimes the least expected. Deaths "stroke" can be brought out in harsh ways as well, but when its time for death there is no escaping it . I think because the speaker is religious that the line before death is subjected to its own kind of death, mentions they will "wake eternally". I think refers to Judgement Day. This means that death will no longer exist because everyone will be taken to heaven and heaven is eternal. Death will be subject to its own death, it will no longer exist when this day comes. I believe the speaker is expressing love for God. The poem makes fun of death and all of its dreadfulness to show his love for religion and god and express his belief that we are immortal and eternal, there is no such thing as death. It is fake and made up to scare us but its really like sleep, peaceful and delightful because after "Death" you meet God. passionate/ardent
The poem speaks of Death but compares it to words that are typically not associated with death. Words such as "pleasure", "rest", and "sleep". I feel as though the speaker is very passionate in letting the audience know that death shouldn't be feared. It should be embraced because you are going to a holy and eternal place after it, where death will not exist.
ApostrophePersonification MetaphorParadox (and Irony)The poems central viewpoint is that Death is not something you fear, it should be something you embrace. Because the speaker is so religious it refers death to sleep to make it less scary and more of something you anticipate because after death you will be in heaven and you are eternal.
The speaker has a love for his religion and has very strong beliefs on death. The speaker makes fun of death and deaths belief to be powerful and mighty because he actually believes that after death is something better and that one day death will face its own death.
3/27/2017 18:16:59
Soban ChaudhriI'm guessing it has something to do with religion because of the word Holy.Unknown/UnclearUnclearI believe Death think she/he is mighty and dreadful.It kinda makes death seem more painless and it shows it as a smooth transition and its more relaxed.The poem says Death is enslaved by fate, chance, kings, and desperate men. I think the speaker meant that even after death there is life so even though there is death there is eternal life after death where "Death" has no place.In the beginning part of the poem the speaker is making it so that death is seen in a better light.
thoughtful/contemplative, defiant/resistant
Death,for thou are not so, slave to fate
MetaphorApostropheMetaphorParadox (and Irony)I believe the point of this poem is to show that death isn't as bad as it is thought out to be. Death is more of a transition to your actual life which comes after you die where there will be no such thing as death.
3/27/2017 19:45:41
Plath house
Genesis Chiriboga The poem's title give you an idea that the theme of poem is going to be about love and somebody superior which could be God. John DonneDeathThe Death think s/he is powerful and have control of everything. It deflate the importance of Death because people think when they die your life is over, but actually what the author is saying is that your body that but not your soul. People who commands Death are the slaves the desperate men's. Death hang out with war and sickness. Deaths stroke is effective to kill your body but not your soul because it make you eternally. This is possible because Death also have somebody superior than her/him which is God. The author is following the tradition of the sonnet because he is expressing love for the eternal life and God which is the one who provide you that .
worshipful/reverent/adoring, thoughtful/contemplative
I deduce the poem's tone from the words Death and eternally.
Paradox (and Irony)Personification MetaphorMetaphorThe poem's central viewpoint show how Death has not control of anything because he only can kills our body which will release our soul's and make us eternal.
3/27/2017 20:26:13
DeanaHonestly, it doesn't but maybe that's because i'm not religious. John DonneThe reader, DeathDeath think's he/she is proud and the speaker is saying not to be so! Using Shmoop, it pointed out that Death is being compared to sleep and rest, neither of which are scary. I'm not sure if I can use Shmoop, but I really didn't know the answer. The speaker is saying that Death is hanging out with lowlives and losers so he must be one too. The speaker is saying that Death is commanded by fate, like kings and desperate men. I'm not too sure about the "stroke" part, but I think he's saying that (because he had a spear in the picture above) he has bad aim with his spear? Probably not. I don't really know but used shmoop and realized that I don't get a lot of this poem because I am not religious. I feel that he is using this particular type of poem to kind of be a smart ass.
defiant/resistant, matter-of-fact/bussinesslike, ironic
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
Personification MetaphorParadox (and Irony)ApostropheI think the insight of Death based on this poem is that Death is not as scary as he/she seems and there are other things that can put you to sleep juse as good. I see no love in this poem to be honest.
3/28/2017 1:13:59
Abu Salim The theme is death can come to anyone,but death is not that scary that most people think.Unknown/UnclearUnclearI'm not sure.When we sleep we wake up after a while, but once we die we sleep for forever, no waking up.The speaker was the poem sounds religious so must be god is the one who commands death.Once everyone in the world is dead, there is no need for death so i guess death will vanish or disappear.I'm not sure.
worshipful/reverent/adoring, thoughtful/contemplative, sad/mournful, angry/bitter/offended, ironic
Death, Mighty,Dreadful,Rest,Soul,Desperate,Sickness.
ApostrophePersonification Paradox (and Irony)Paradox (and Irony) Death not to be so proud, because he really not as scary or powerful as most people think.
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