Blog Getting Personal

LIFE be not proud.

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
John Donne

All roads lead to Johannesburg. Rome had its day and the other half have their helipads. It’s Johannesburg that’s captured the direction of the physically mobile; the gridlocked will bear testimony. Roads from Johannesburg are altogether another matter, why they exist is the bane of all philosophy. The road to Vereeniging, for instance, stretches interminably long. Frustratingly so. It’s not the type of road given to inspire a need to press forward exhilaratingly. Instead, it juts out from underneath the car, mile after mile, inspiring a fierce rhetoric against purpose and direction, “Why am I here?”, is the adult gloss of, “Are we there yet?”Just a few metres ahead of the board boldly pointing the way to Roshnee, a place of darkness if ever there was, a patch of land has been ravaged by a veld fire. The pine trees and bushes fencing that land have been exorcised, exposing a cemetery, lonely in all its overcrowding. The stark, blunt reality of a cemetery, on a road to Nowhere Slowly is roughly jolting. At first glance, from a moving car, it seems some boor chose to dump a truck’s fill of litter on the graves. The desecration is about to incite an indictment on society until another look proves the colour not to be Coca Cola red; but rather deep carnation red. The flowers on the graves, their colour, seem altogether out of place between the grimness of death and the black remnants of the fire.



It’s life that should not be proud. There’s little sense in fencing away death.


5 replies on “LIFE be not proud.”

>Antonio, It’s still prescribed for grade 12 I think.

Aasia, 🙂

Nooj, I don’t know either. It’s existentialism, I think.

“For all the compasses in the world there is only one direction.” Stoppard

>I’m not sure what all this means
Like I get the poem
I get the funeral references
And yet your writing is best described as Mysterious.
I would read a novel of these lines with hidden daggers and rainbows catching me unawares…

>too true Kay, I find peace visiting my dad’s grave. there’s a magical quality surrounding graveyards… must be all the prayers


I actually remember this poem from High School. I didn’t get it then either.

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