John Donne A Burnt Ship p.49

“Out of a fired ship, which by no way

But Drowning, could be rescued from the flame,

Some men leaped forth, and ever as they came

Near the foe’s ships, did by their shot decay;

So all were lost, which in the ship were found,

They in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drowned.”

This poem although very short does a very good job of getting its point across.  This poem is extremely vivid in its description of what happened in the battle.  The poem describes how a ship was badly damaged during a battle and many of it crew were either burned or trapped inside and drowned.  The section of the poem that says “near the foe’s ships, did by their shot decay” describes how the men were jumping towards their foes ship hoping to be saved which was badly damaged by their own weapons.  I found it ironic how the last sentence says “they in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drowned”.  I found this to be ironic due to the fact that the people who were in the water were being burned when in fact the water should be putting the fire out, and the people in the ship which was on fire drowned when they should have been the ones burning.

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2 thoughts on “John Donne A Burnt Ship p.49

  1. I like the way you look at the irony of fact that the people in the water burned and the ones in the ship drowned. I also like the imagery that you pull out of the poem itself as it is very insightful and allows better explanation of the poem.

  2. I believe Franklin does a good job of explaining what happened in this poem, and helps paint the picture more clearly of what happened. I also found it interesting about the way these soldiers were burnt in the sea. I think this describes that they died a more painful and brutal death then the people who stayed on the ship.

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