* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Computation

The Computation

by John Donne

Time Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

Yet call not this long life ; (line 9)

The end of the poem anticipates an objection every reader of this poem thinks at some point: impossible. This guy is old enough that he could have been one of Socrates's students in Ancient Greece. The speaker tells us that we have the wrong idea if we think that he is just old.

Quote #5

by being dead, immortal (line 10)

The speaker is not old, because he is dead. To be both "dead" and "immortal" is a total oxymoron, or contradiction in terms. Immortality means that you can't die. To make this contradiction work, the speaker has to fall back on supernatural language: he's a ghost.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search