The Concept of Death in John Donne and Sohrab Sepehri: A Comparative Study

  • Behnam Mirzababazadeh Fomeshi Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities, Shiraz University, Shiraz, IRAN
Keywords: Donne, Sepehri, comparative, death, Persian poetry


Death has always permeated human‘s thoughts at all levels. This preoccupation with death is manifested in the realm of literature. John Donne is one of the artists whose obsession with death is universally recognized. The contemporary Iranian poet, Sohrab Sepehri, in some of his poems employs the subject, too. Unlike Donne, Sepehri is not known as a ‗death poet.‘ Although he lives in a turbulent period in the history of Iran, he is not influenced by his immediate condition. While the English poet is inconsistent in his treatment of death, Sepehri is consistent in his treatment of death. Sepehri‘s consistency in the treatment of death has something to do with his religious beliefs. The reason behind Sepehri‘s consistency in treating death as a positive phenomenon is his familiarity with the Islamic Sufism and eastern mysticisms.


Download data is not yet available.


Abrams, M. H. (1987). The Norton anthology of English literature. 5th ed. New York: W. W. Norton.
Anderson, L. (1995). ‘Contraryes meete in one‘: A Psychobiography of John Donne. Available from University of Tennessee Honors Thesis Projects. Retrieved from http://trace.tennessee. edu/utk_chanhonoproj/1
Andreasen, N. J. C. (1967). John Donne: Conser-vative revolutionary. Princeton: Princeton Uni-versity Press.
Carey, J. (1990). John Donne: Life, mind and art. London: Faber and Faber.
Dianoush, I. (2006). Naked with the earth. Tehran: Morvarid.
Donne, J. (2002). The complete poems of John Donne. London: Wordsworth Editions Limited.
Edgecombe, R. S. (1994). Donne's A Nocturnal Upon S. Lucy's Day, Being the Shortest Day. The Explicator, 52(3), 142-145.
Emad, H. (1999). To the garden of fellow travellers. Tehran: Ketab-e-Khoub.
Gosse, E. (2008). Edmund Gosse 'John Donne (1894). In H. Bloom (Ed.), John Donne and the Metaphysical Poets, (pp. 94-106). New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism.
Greenblatt, S., Abrams, M. H., Christ, C. T., David, A., Lewalski, B. K., Lipking, L., Logan, G. M., Lynch, D. S., Maus, K. E., Noggle, J., Rama-zani, J., Robson, C., Simpson, J., Stallworthy, J., & Stillinger, J. (2006). The Norton anthology of English literature. 8th ed. New York: W. W. Norton.
Hammond, G. (1974). Nineteenth-and early twentieth-century criticism. In The metaphysical poets: A case book, (pp. 57-90). London: MacMillan Press.
Jungman, R. (2007). Mining for Augustinian gold in John Donne‘s meditation 17. ANQ, 20(2), 16-21.
Keenan, S. (2008). Renaissance literature. Edin-burgh: Edinburgh University Press
Ponder, M. (1998). Gender and the religious vision: Katherine Lee Bates and poetic elegy. In J. L. Mahoney (Ed.), Seeing into the life of things: Essays on literature and religious experience, (pp. 171-194). Fordham: Fordham University Press.
Ramshini, M. (2006). Sohrab and Jibran. Mashhad: Farhangsaray-e-Mirdashti.
Rugoff, M. A. (1962). Donne’s imagery: A study in creative sources. New York: Russell & Russell.
Salami, E. & Zahedi, A. (2007). Sohrab Sepehri: The water's footfall selected poems. Tehran: Zabankadeh.
Sepehri, S. (2007). The eight books. Tehran: Tahouri.
Shamissa, S. (1993). A glance at Sepehri. Tehran: Morvarid.
Smith, A. J. (1983). John Donne: The critical heritage. London: Routledge.
Stein, A. (1965). The burden of consciousness. In John Donne’s lyrics: The eloquence of action, (pp. 163-197). Minneapolis: Lund Press.
Sugg, R. (2007). John Donne: Critical issues. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Targoff, R. (2008). John Donne, body and soul. London: The University of Chicago Press.
Trevor, D. (2000). John Donne and scholarly melancholy. Studies in English literature, 1500-1900, 40(1), 81-102.
Zhang, D. & Wang, D. (2011). Death image in divine meditations of John Donne. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 1, 861-864.
How to Cite
Fomeshi, B. (2013). The Concept of Death in John Donne and Sohrab Sepehri: A Comparative Study. K@ta, 15(2), 77-84.