Although poems written on death are often considered simple, they address serious issues of life.Discuss with reference to the poems "Fear no more," "Death, be not proud," "Break,break,break."

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I suppose the first thought that enters my mind is that the poems are not considered that simple, at all.  I am not certain that I can come up with any poem that deals with death that is seen in a simple manner.  Even the most simplistic poem written by a child about death has profound implications and causes a great deal of rumination.  Part of this has to do with the subject matter.  Death, by its inconclusive nature, is going to embrace a great deal of complexity in thought because of the lack of definite answers.  The poems mentioned operate in much the same light.  For example, "Death, Be Not Proud," is something that might cause more reflection than anything else.  Look at the last line with "Death, thou shalt die."  If the premise of the poem was to emphasize how death can be overcome, then logically speaking, can would the death of death be overcome, as well?  If so, what does that resemble?  It's difficult to comprehend, in large part, because we battle both the drive to understand poetry, which is not simple in any light, and then we do so in seeking to understand poetry about death, where a complex medium is enhanced with a topic that is far from simple.