annundriel: (Running Up That Hill (sga))
[personal profile] annundriel
Either listening to Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" is affecting my reading, or the ending of the original sequence of Donne's "Holy Sonnets" is seriously depressing. Especially if there's anxiety threaded throughout all of them. Maybe it's a combination of "Death be not proud" and "Wilt thou love God." The possibility of the speaker in "Death" desperately trying to convincing himself that death is not so frightening and that there is life after paired with "Wilt thou love God, as he, thee?" suggested something less hopeful.

Except what follows is "wholesome meditation," which sort of puts a stop to the idea of a "downer" ending I guess.

In between that sentence and this one, I've popped over to the library and perused the John Donne Variorum some more. And, yeah, let's blame the more melancholy ending on "Moonlight Sonata." It always makes whatever I'm reading/doing at the time seem slightly depressing.

Although, I wonder if I could argue a movement in the final sonnet? Anxiety throughout and then a change in the original twelfth poem?

Basically, what does it mean that the revised sequence (of 12) of the "Holy Sonnets" ends with:

Yet such are thy laws, that men argue yet
Whether a man those statues can fulfil.
None doth; but all-healing grace and spirit
Revive and quicken what law and letter kill.
Thy law's abridgement, and thy last command
Is all but love. Oh let that last will stand.

While Donne's original sequence ended with:

And as a robb'd man, which by search doth find
His stol'n stuff sold, must lose or buy'it again,
The son of glory came down and was slain,
Us whom he'd made, and Satan stole, to'unbind.
'Twas much that man was made like God before,
But, that God should be made like man, much more.

I think maybe I should take a break. If I don't, I might start making Donne puns again.

Although, hmm, interesting that the original sequence begins "Thou hast made me" and ends with "'Twas much that man was made like God before, / But, that God should be made like man, much more." Probably nothing there, but it's something to look at.

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