(1633) While discussion continues over the order in which John Donne wrote the individual poems that compose his Holy Sonnets, the critic Helen Gardner has argued convincingly that "Death Be Not Proud" was published in 1633. Structured as a variant of the Italian, or Petrarchan, sonnet, the poem's rhyme scheme is abbaabbacddcee. Donne became popular while serving as the dean of St. Paul's, writing and preaching sermons that also occupy an important position in his works. As one who tended to the spiritual life of others, he dealt regularly with death, and the sonnet probably reflects the theme of hope he attempted to pass to the grieved. He had two strict views about the soul. He believed it immortal by the will of God and believed that a virtuous soul is taken to heaven at the moment of death; it does not linger to
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