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Hym To God, My God In My Sickness Analysis

Author: Poetry of John Donne Type: Poetry Views: 401

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Since I am coming to that holy room,

Where, with thy choir of saints for evermore,

I shall be made thy music; as I come

I tune the instrument here at the door,

And what I must do then, think here before.

Whilst my physicians by their love are grown

Cosmographers, and I their map, who lie

Flat on this bed, that by them may be shown

That this is my south-west discovery,

[lang l]Per fretum febris[lang e], by these straits to die,

pmdv3 n="33-11">I joy, that in these straits I see my west;

For, though their currents yield return to none,

What shall my west hurt me? As west and east

In all flat maps (and I am one) are one,

So death doth touch the resurrection.

Is the Pacific Sea my home? Or are

The eastern riches? Is Jerusalem?

Anyan, and Magellan, and Gibraltar,

All straits, and none but straits, are ways to them,

Whether where Japhet dwelt, or Cham, or Shem.

We think that Paradise and Calvary,

Christ's cross, and Adam's tree, stood in one place;

Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me;

As the first Adam's sweat surrounds my face,

May the last Adam's blood my soul embrace.

So, in his purple wrapp'd, receive me, Lord;

By these his thorns, give me his other crown;

And as to others' souls I preach'd thy word,

Be this my text, my sermon to mine own:

"Therefore that he may raise, the Lord throws down."


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

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This poem features a persona (most likely representing donne himself) who is on his death bed. He refers to himself as 'music' and a 'map', which are significant in their own ways.
The idea of the 'music' presents Heaven as a joyful and wonderful place where a person is met by 'thy choir of saints'. In this way, death is not something to be afraid of, and the persona very confidently on this point, assured that he is 'at the door' of Heaven.
The conceit of the map represents the world with its 'straits' and its 'currents' and directions, however it is suggested that God is present in the persona's life because he has an eternal view of the world.'As east and west... are one', and are infinite, so Heaven and earth are joined by the fact that God is in both eternally.
Although the speaker is God's 'instrument' (being a preacher), he is also a 'map' - a thing of the world. Both of these things provide help to people. In the same way, Jesus ('the last Adam') was of the world yet he served Heaven while on earth. So with this thought in mind, the persona is comparing himself to Jesus - but not suggesting they are equal!
Jesus and his ressurection are referred to throughout the poem:
* 'death doth touch the resurrection'
* 'Christ's cross, and Adam's tree, stood in one place'
* 'therefore that he may raise the Lord throws down'

| Posted on 2009-10-07 | by a guest

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