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Donne's poem is one of his few Holy Sonnetsthat might actually be called optimistic. In the poem, he argues, for all kinds of reasons, that death is nothing to fear. The filmed version of the play Wit, starring Emma Thompson, is, as I remember it, both harrowing and inspiring. I don't remember the play being nearly as optimistic as Donne's poem, however. Here's the ending:
The movie is about a professor who is an expert on John Donne’s poetry, the diagnosed with cancer. It makes perfect sense that if she is an expert on Donne’s poetry, she would think of poems about death, especially taking control of it.
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