Sunday, July 23, 2006

The American Way of Death III

NPR's Studio 360 program has a wonderful item this week on Emily Dickinson and her iconic poem, "Because I Could Not Stop For Death." The program is available as an MP3 file here.

We read this poem every year in Law, Literature & Medicine, where third-year law students from SMU and fourth-year medical students from UT-Southwestern wrestle with Dickinson's verses, among many others.

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity –

courtesy of the Academy of American Poets

posted by tommayo, 2:09 PM

Health care law (including public health law, medical ethics, and life sciences), with digressions into constitutional law, poetry, and other things that matter