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Monday, September 30, 2013

John Donne: A Burnt Ship

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Out of a fired ship, which by no way
But drowning could be rescued from the flame,
Some men leap'd forth, and ever as they came
Near the foes' ships, did by their shot decay;
So all were lost, which in the ship were found,
They in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drown'd.

ironic and metaphorical: starts by giving hope of senselessness then explaining how the people who drowned were actually in the burnt ship and those who escaped earlier from it were burnt while in the sea.

one stanza work with six lines; rhyme scheme a-b-b-a-c-c; the first five lines consist of ten syllables and the sixth line contains thirteen; the lines consist of no meter pattern like many of Donne's other poetry: he often changes feet depending on his purpose to expose his audience to another set of emotions.

futility of hope: our life like a vessel surrounded by its sea - destiny; sea as grave; and Donne's elegance of putting this into a stanza.

(John Donne)



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