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The Funeral Analysis

Author: poem of John Donne Type: poem Views: 39

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Whoever comes to shroud me, do not harm

Nor question much

That subtle wreath of hair which crowns my arm;

The mystery, the sign, you must not touch,

For 'tis my outward Soul,

Viceroy to that which then to heaven being gone

Will leave this to control

And keep these limbs, her Provinces, from dissolution.

For if the sinewy thread my brain lets fall

Through every part

Can tie those parts, and make me one of all,

These hairs, which upward grew, and strength and art

Have from a better brain,

Can better do't; except she meant that I

By this should know my pain,

As prisoners then are manacled when they're condemned to die.

Whate'er she meant by 't, bury it with me,

For since I am

Love's martyr, it might breed idolatry

If into others' hands these relics came;

As 'twas humility

To afford to it all that a Soul can do,

So 'tis some bravery

That since you would save none of me, I bury some of you.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Basically, the poem is talking about Donne dying because of a woman's rejection. The 'wreath of hair' is her hair and Donne wants to be buried with it because it shows that while God owns Donne's soul, the woman owns his body and heart. However, by the second stanza, Donne begins to wonder if the hair isn't an imprisonment by the woman, and a symbol of the control she holds over him. In the last stanza, Donne is still unsure as to the reasoning behind the hair, but he gets buried with it anyway, because it's the only part of her he has. Also, he doesn't want another man wearing the wreath and becoming be-spelled by the woman. This poem links to 'The Relic' because that poem also mentions a 'bracelet of hair', and Donne talks about relics in the end of this poem.

| Posted on 2014-01-30 | by a guest

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