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Trying to find a poem

(12 Posts)
TheMoa Mon 20-Jul-15 10:03:48

I have Googled to the ends of the internet before starting this post - I honestly have tried! Or I have tried, honestly.. confused

I am trying to find a poem, but I only have the jist of one line, and even that is flaky.

It's about the 'cocoon' dying people wrap themselves in, a kind of distancing of themselves from life, as an act of self preservation. It is presented as being a boon, a gift from the benign being that is 'Death'. I think..

I'm pretty sure the poem is on an entirely different topic though, and that line is only a 'throwaway' illustration of something else.

Something along the lines of 'as death provides a balm for' or 'as the dying set themselves apart..'

It might be in the iambic pentameter, and the likely suspects are Pope, Kipling, Burns, Tennyson, Donne, or maybe Yeats.

It isn't a Haiku, or anything modern or Japanese, which seems to be the net result of my Googling.

It is a very well known poem, I used to know it by heart, but now that I need it - it escapes me entirely - I feel like a total idiot. I can't find it anywhere!


LittleDecoRing Mon 20-Jul-15 10:15:10

I've just read more Pope in the last ten minutes than I managed at university! It sounds like his writings from what you have described... I'll have a hunt.

Is it a complete piece of part of something longer?

Cloggal Mon 20-Jul-15 10:20:43

Sounds like Donne's Nocturnal on St Lucie's Day in content...

TheMoa Mon 20-Jul-15 10:22:11

Thank you for replying.

I haven't the first clue!

I remember reading it as a teenager, and that one line was like a revelation. I read lots of poetry though, so it could be anything..

It was comparing the callus/shield/protective shell instigated by imminent death to something else - but I have apparently managed to block the entire thing from my mind.

It was almost certainly written on a subject other than death, and I used to be able to recall at least the relevant stanza, but now - nothing!?

Cloggal Mon 20-Jul-15 10:24:26

Meant to post link

TheMoa Mon 20-Jul-15 10:26:08

Ah, definitely not Nocturnal upon St Lucie's day, not The May Queen (Tennyson) either.

It reads, I think, like Pope's 'Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot'.

TheMoa Mon 20-Jul-15 10:30:20

I'm leaning toward Pope too, but I am notorious for saying things like

'oh yes, it starts with Y.. Yemen, yo-yo, yoghurt ' and then it turns out to be 'football' grin.

So my guess is likely to be a bit wonky..

Cloggal Mon 20-Jul-15 10:30:31

Hmmm. Can almost hear it!

LittleDecoRing Mon 20-Jul-15 10:44:53

No joy yet. On the plus side, I have once again read The Lady of Shalott!

TheMoa Mon 20-Jul-15 11:09:19


Yes, I've rediscovered quite a few lost favourites during my search.

I'm certain I haven't imagined it, but the fact that it's buried within a poem on a different topic makes it tricky I think.

I am banking on someone having read the thing recently I think..

Lisa282820 Mon 10-Apr-17 23:58:25

Is it Larkin - 'judging distances'?

Lisa282820 Tue 11-Apr-17 00:01:31

Or by Reed even 😳

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