Terence Duncan 11/01/99
An Essay on “During A Son’s Dangerous Illness”
Death can strike at anytime, sometimes expected, but too often unannounced. Denise Levertov wrote a poem entitled “During a Son’s Dangerous Illness” about the unmerciful side of death. This poem emphasied on emotions, visualization, and a consice structure that symbolizes how perplexing and awful death can be. It is a poem of desolate mood and brought a horrifiying feeling to me. In my opinion, works of literature like this that bring a sense of awarness to the world to cherish every moment, for it could be your last.
The beginning of the poem starts with a very powerful line: “You could die before me”. The fact of the matter is, however, no matter what the circumstances, young, old, rich, poor, white, or black; you can be here today and gone tomorrow .
It is very evident at the beginning of the poem that the author is coming from personal experience . The author speaks of how her younger sister passed away and how heartbroken their mother was. Now it seems she is faced with her first born possibly dying in an untimely manner.
Instead of devoting the poem to just simply her pain, anguish, and suffering, she broadens the topic of death and applies it to society and the environment in a way that cause me to reflect. She asks questions regarding what will happen if all life dyies, all creatures, signifing how death effects everyone and has is nondiscriminant in its quest. Questions arise about the past and future and, when something dies, what possibly becomes of that potential future or, in fact, there ever was one. Is it all some master plan, is it all for nothing, do loved ones have a say? I believe part of the answer is no, we have no say in who gets taken from us, at least for the most part. The future that could’ve been, was only a future we, the loving hopefuls, had anticipated. The amount of drain of...
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