Death and mortality in poetry

William Knox- O why should the spirit of mortal be proud?

Death and mortality in poetry

Juniper Fuse In what I would very hesitantly call my spiritual life, I don't believe for a moment in immortality, though like all humans I can occasionally find myself reflexively longing towards it.

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On the other hand, when I give myself over to Leaves of GrassI come marvelously close to having something like an intuition of deathlessness, an experience that blossoms out of the fusion of that primitive instinct to go on forever, with the poetic force of the matter of Whitman's song.

The audacity of Whitman 's meditations on and challenges to mortality in the poems is astonishing; they were clearly a key element of his intentions. But what do you do if you seriously want to confront mortality, as a greatest poet, as even, possibly, a prophet?

There are so many genres of immortality: Whitman proposes an immortality of the poem, of the poet, and the reader.

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Essentially what he is saying is that if we allow ourselves to participate in the force of his vision, and surely as important of his singing, his cadence, the swell of his voice and its surge, we will be comforted and solaced even more than by the outmoded precepts of traditional religions.

He learns the lesson. In the section of the Leaves of Grass ultimately entitled " To Think of Time ," but which as well could be called "To Think of Death," he begins by speaking of the wonders of mortal existence.

To think that the sun rose in the east Then he recounts the details of an actual death: When the dull nights are over, and the dull days also, When the soreness of lying so much in bed is over, When the physician, after long putting off, gives the silent and terrible look for an answer, When the children come hurried and weeping, and the brothers and sisters have been sent for, When medicines stand unused on the shelf, and the camphor-smell has pervaded the rooms, When the faithful hand of the living does not desert the hand of the dying, When the twitching lips press lightly on the forehead of the dying, When the breath ceases and the pulse of the heart ceases, Then the corpse-limbs stretch on the bed, and the living look upon them, They are palpable as the living are palpable And after that death enacts a subtle but profound shift of point of view: The living look upon the corpse with their eyesight, But without eyesight lingers a different living and looks curiously on the corpse.

Then another death is recounted, in a less generalized, more elaborate way: A man who lived with energy, waned, suffered, died. Both these deaths, rendered in such touching detail, with such evident deep sympathy, are like nothing we'd find in Torahs or Korans or Gospels: And subsequent to those deaths, the poem shifts to pleasure, of all things, pleasure as a concept that exceeds the concept of morality, and by extension in its extending of mortality.

The vulgar and the refined.

Mortality by William Knox - Poems | Academy of American Poets

And then the pleasure beyond pleasure, which looks out hopefully towards unendingness. To think how much pleasure there is! Have you pleasure from looking at the sky?

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Have you pleasure from poems? Do you enjoy yourself in the city? Or engaged in business? Or with your mother and sisters? And the poem and the poet will tell us about where pleasure is taking them, and you, us.

These also flow onward to others. And if we've been reading attentively, we can recall from " Song of Myself " the first hints of this method of overwhelming, of unlikely convincing.

The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, And if ever there was it led forward life and does not wait at the end to arrest it, And ceased the moment life appeared.

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All goes onward and outward. Yet why does it sound so And later in the "Song": And as to you death, and you bitter hug of mortality.10 Beautiful Poems About Death. Books | By Jason Diamond beer, and read a handful of classic poems about death and dying.

Using Russ Kick’s new anthology, Death Poems. Death poems written by famous poets.

Death and mortality in poetry

Browse through to read poems for death. This page has the widest range of death love and quotes. Abraham Lincoln's Favorite Poem In the s, Dr.

Death and mortality in poetry

Jason Duncan introduced Lincoln to the poem "Mortality" (sometimes called "Immortality" or "Oh, Why Should the Spirit of Mortal be Proud?"). At the time, the increasingly melancholy Lincoln lived in New Salem, Illinois, and had already lost several friends and relatives to death.

Mortality - O why should the spirit of mortal be proud. The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. Using Russ Kick’s new anthology, Death Poems, as our source, we’ve selected ten of the best verses from throughout the ages about death and dying, and present them to you as a special.

Jun 01,  · However, some of the poetry I write is not focused on the death and dying itself, but deals with parts of life that remind me of the fact that everything dies or that people are dying needlessly. I created this page for my poems about situations, observations, and experiences from my everyday life that make me think about death, dying, and regardbouddhiste.coms: 6.

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