Anne Donne

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The Tragic and Weary Life described by Sylvia Townsend Warner’s “Anne Donne”
In the poem Anne Donne, Townsend Warner expresses a very interesting yet heart rending story of the Donne’s life. After reading this poem and doing research on the Donne’s, I found out that they lived a very distressed life that was full of many tragedies including the death of five of their children. With that being said, the pieces of this poem make a much clearer puzzle. When Sylvia says, “And round my bed my live children were crying / And round my bed my dead children were singing” (Lines 2-3) I read it as if she was depicting the moments when Anne Donne was enduring the death of her children when they were being born. I also thought that it was a possibility that she was saying they were singing like angels that were simply innocent. Furthermore, I thought it was a possibility that she might be saying that it was God’s will and path for this to happen because she says, “Ill-done, well-done, all done.” (8). Which I thought meant that no matter what they might have wanted it happened and it was done whether they felt it was right or wrong. I felt like Townsend Warner did a great job of revealing Anne Donne’s pain after the death of her children when she says, “The sweat still on my face, my hair disheveled / Over the bells and the tolling seas I travelled, / Carrying my dead child, so lost, so light a burden” (16-18). I also felt like this showed how she might have been getting used to losing children at birth because she was already carrying her children away right after she went through labor. This poem showed a lot of pain and sorrow, but at the same time I felt like it might be showing that the Donne’s were becoming good at going on with their lives and trying to make the best out of the bad times that they were having to overcome.
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