Island of Freedom
For the second time in as many weeks... someone was perusing my library... and remarked about a collection I happen to have. Apparently it seems odd that the works of John Donne (pronounced dun for them what don't already know) should reside upon my shelf amongst the 100 Greatest Books Ever Written... at least according to the Franklin Library.
I've never bothered to defend the man... as I know quite well that those who lampoon him are at least familiar with him.
I don't much think there is any reason at all to debate the issue... The man constructed a line so powerful it improved the standing of an entire language.
"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."
Well? Where did you think Hemingway got it?
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow
And soonest our best men with thee do go
Rest of their bones and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppies or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swellst thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die!
For anybody else who tries to look him up, search for John *Donne*.
John Dunne was more recent.
But, there still is a connection, because John Dunne was married to Joan Didion, another writer, who loved Hemingway's phrasing so much that she taught herself to type by copying his novels.
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