• Annotated Full Text
  • Literary Period: Renaissance
  • Publication Date: 1633
  • Flesch-Kincaid Level: 11
Poetry

Death Be Not Proud

Christian cleric and poet John Donne wrote “Holy Sonnet 10,” which is commonly known as “Death, Be Not Proud,” for a collection of works called Holy Sonnets. The poem was originally published in 1633, two years after Donne’s death, and is a prominent fixture of the English Early Modern literary canon. In it, Donne personifies death as a powerless, ineffectual being that is to be pitied instead of feared. By portraying death as a “short sleep” between life and afterlife, he implies that it is better to look forward to the joys of heaven than to dread the experience of dying.

  • Annotated Full Text
  • Literary Period: Renaissance
  • Publication Date: 1633
  • Flesch-Kincaid Level: 11