Sunday, March 20, 2005

Holy Sonnet

by John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

* * *

This poem makes me think of Terri Schiavo. (Some people might use this poem's theme as a reason to "let her die." But I think if you could ask Donne, he would be as righteously indignant as I am about the whole thing.) I guess everything makes me think of her these days. I think I'm done ranting now--Friday night I stormed around tearing my hair and raving to my roommate about injustice and corrupt courts and moral justification of shooting idiotic judges--but I think I'm calm now.

I don't know how anyone can think Terri is a vegetable. She can react to her surroundings by her expressions, and she tries to speak. In fact, she cried when she heard they were going to take her feeding tube out, and tried to speak. People in worse states than hers have recovered (see this article by another Christendom student).

I think part of the reason so many people are so eager to have her feeding tube removed is because it opens the way for them to deal with their own elderly and disabled relatives the same way. But for the same reason, everyone should take care that Terri is cared for, because they don't know when they might end up in the same situation.

All right, enough of my ranting. But all my readers who pray (hopefully that's all of you!), pray for Terri. Pray first that she should be allowed to live, and if not, that she be spared some of the great suffering a death by starvation and dehydration entails.

More info about Terri

1 comment:

Sandra Clarke said...

I think the reason they want her to die is because 1) they think it's going to painless and 2) they want to escape pain when the time comes for themselves. I don't agree, either that iit is painless or that they can escape. They can't really put themselves in the place of Terri.