I love when I stumble upon a movie that serves me a new slice of literature pie. I watched 84 Charing Cross Road the other night, where Anne Bancroft starts a correspondence with Anthony Hopkins, the owner of a bookshop in England.
What a good one.
At one point, Bancroft reads a sermon from John Donne on death (which of course made me cry.) So I looked him up and found a poem that also made me cry.
Per Bancroft, you have to read Donne’s literature out loud. So do it.
DEATH, BE NOT PROUD
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
I loved the book and that fact that it is a true story adds to its richness. I am so happy you discovered it. The movie really does justice to that time and the hearts & souls of the characters. I could almost smell all those blue and grey volumns lining the bookshop shelves. Thanks for reminding me!
I didn’t know it was a book nor that it was a true story!! Oh, that makes me like it all the more.