Guest poem sent in by Linda Roberts
(Poem #1486) And Death Shall Have No Dominion
And death shall have no dominion. Dead men naked they shall be one With the man in the wind and the west moon; When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone, They shall have stars at elbow and foot; Though they go mad they shall be sane, Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; Though lovers be lost love shall not; And death shall have no dominion. And death shall have no dominion. Under the windings of the sea They lying long shall not die windily; Twisting on racks when sinews give way, Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break; Faith in their hands shall snap in two, And the unicorn evils run them through; Split all ends up they shan't crack; And death shall have no dominion. And death shall have no dominion. No more may gulls cry at their ears Or waves break loud on the seashores; Where blew a flower may a flower no more Lift its head to the blows of the rain; Though they be mad and dead as nails, Heads of the characters hammer through daisies; Break in the sun till the sun breaks down, And death shall have no dominion.
I checked the archives for this poem and was rather surprised not to find it. I find it interesting, not only as one of that subset of poems that defy death, much like Donne's "Death be not proud" (Poem #796) but also for the interesting form used. It's not a villanelle or a rondeau. I'll admit my ignorance and ask that if someone knows the name of this form I'd like to learn it. As a recent widow I find myself remembering odd bits of poetry dealing with death. While this may sound morbid, I usually find it fairly comforting - especially such lines as "though lovers be lost, love shall not." Lollee