The Poetry of Coronavirus

John Donne desired immortality. He died nearly 500 years ago and people have not changed much.

My life expectancy ranges from the next three minutes to the next 30 years. I greedily hope for more.

“And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die,” Donne wrote in a poem. This idea rested in a Christian plan of resurrection and everlasting life. Today we feel free of these mythologies. But are we free?

Coronavirus with its real threat to our expected healthier, ever-increasing lifespans blindsided us. Of course pandemics existed in history and will continue to exist. But our sophisticated medicines, scientific advancements should have found a solution before the problem even began. So began a shockwave around the world.

John Donne’s words are archaic, his poetry steeped in Christian ethos, his conceits include the seduction of women. And we can relate to his deepest desires. We criticize the old, yet scrounge around for an afterlife among the hardware and software of our new gods. Death is still alive and well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.