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Poem Analysis Of Meditation 17 By John Donne

1828 words - 7 pages

It is quite feasible to state that poetry at its finest is a dazzling and expressive art of words. A poem not only can expose the diplomatic beliefs of societies, but can also articulate passions and sentiments of the author to whom the poem belongs. One of the many fine poems that have been prevalent among the study of literature that is irrefutably powerful is Meditation 17 by John Donne. This poetic essay exposes John Donne’s opinions and beliefs on humanity, and covers much cogitation from religion all the way to death. Of course, the poem has been written so profoundly that one may not grasp it completely at first glimpse, however John Donne does use explicit strategies to better convey his message to readers of all sorts. John Donne utilizes situation, structure, language, and musical devices to enhance the poem and to aid in delivering his message efficiently.
The situation of Meditation 17 has a few parts to it, including where the poem stands as a story, narration, emotion/mood expressed, poetic voice, and tone. In regards to the poem being a story, it seems that it is merely a poem elaborating on the beliefs of the author without telling a chronological story. It is typically a persuasive essay that is not a narrative but a subjective scrutiny on humanity and death. “Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill as that he knows not it tolls for him;”[1]. This quote is an instance from the poem that reveals the inclusive emotion and mood of the poem as somewhat down, melancholy and desolate, with the author referring to a bell tolling for a sick man who is so ill that he cannot even recognize that it tolls for him (as bells used to toll for the dead some time ago). The Meditation’s poetic voice is extremely vibrant as one reads the work, uncovering that the speaker is actually unknown, nevertheless it can effectively be assumed as John Donne himself. The ostensible audience seems to be all people of the world, and perchance even Donne himself as the following quote shows: “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”[2] Through this quote, it is patent that he is speaking to the reader directly, possibly even to the entire world. One can trust Donne in this piece of literature due to his disclosure of his current circumstance, “[…] so this bell calls us all; but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness…” John Donne was tangibly sick at the time the Meditation was written, and a sick man can often be trusted as one can assume that it would be on another’s deathbed where veracity would be spoken. The tone of the poem is serious and somber, with the speaker’s attitude being a little sad and sometimes indifferent with regards to the things that he addresses. If the poem is to be read out loud, one should communicate in a serious and quiet tone, as this is how the words develop the tone of the poem to be. “And...

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