“Hymn to God My God, in My Sickness” by John Donne, is a poem with a theme of seeing death as a friend. The poem contains biblical allusions; and Donne uses many poetic literary qualities such as symbolism, metaphor, and rhyme scheme. With these qualities, the author is able to develop the theme of the poem with his attitude implied in it. Primarily, the poem is filled with symbolism. Donne’s repetition of the East and West can be called a symbol; the sun rises east, and sets west. The rising of the sun in the east represents birth, while the setting in the west represents death. The west and east hemispheres are connected, just as the sun rises and sets, just as the speaker lives and will die. In Christian beliefs, the moment of dying, is the moment of entering new life. Death and resurrection are like the connection of the east and west on a map. Therefore, the poem suggests that death may not be such a bad thing since of its connection to resurrection. “What shall my West hurt me? As West and East
In all flat maps (and I am one) are,
So death doth touch the resurrection.”
Considering the poetic qualities in this poem overlap, metaphor in this poem is more of a general quality than a specific one. The whole poem is a metaphor on the speaker’s point of view and attitude towards life on earth versus death.
“Hymn to God My God, in My Sickness” is written is iambic pentameter. The rhyming is ABABB, enabling each stanza to end in a rhyming couplet. The structure of the sentences allows the stanza to be concluded neatly. Since John Donne’s attitude towards the overall poem is implied, there is a connection between the poetic and the speaker’s attitude towards life and death. This symbol suggest that the speaker is content about death, while the rhyme scheme suggests that the speaker is either confused or unhappy with life on earth, but will be happier and more stable through in his life in Heaven. From all of this, the other’s attitude can as a rhetorical...