The theme of this poem is life. We all deserve to live, despite the hardships we have faced or the wrongs we have committed. Randall writes, “Never conspire with death to set me free / but let me know such life as pain can give.” (3-4). Although his life has been painful and rough, he asks to not be set free. Despite all of his sufferings, he is asking for one gift – life. “Even though I turn such traitor to myself / as beg to die, do not accomplice me.” (9-10), here Randall is admitting to letting himself or another person down and wishes to die for his mistakes, but he knows that death is not the answer. The happenings throughout Randall’s life have made him calloused, soul-less: Even though I seem not human, a mute shelf
Of glucose, bottled blood, machinery
To swell the lung and pump the heart – even so,
Do not put out my life. Let me still glow. (11-14).
And still, Randall says, “…Let me still glow.” He is asking for mercy to live and prosper, even though he isn’t himself anymore. Dudley Randall also uses irony throughout the poem, to further convey the theme. “To the Mercy Killers” starts out with the line, “If ever mercy move you murder me, / I pray you, kindly killers, let me live.” (1-2). Randall uses irony to refer to the killers, or death, as kind. Randall seems to be portraying the killers as kind because...