Showing 1231 - 1240 of 1260 annotations tagged with the keyword "Death and Dying"

The English Patient

Ondaatje, Michael

Last Updated: Dec-15-1995
Annotated by:
Duffin, Jacalyn

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction — Secondary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Novel

Summary:

In the waning days of World War II, Hana, a Canadian nurse, refuses to leave the temporary hospital in a Tuscan villa where she cares for her mysterious English patient, a soldier burned and bandaged beyond recognition. The patient is haunted by the memory of a love affair in North Africa. Hana is joined by Kip, a Sikh bomb-disposal expert, who becomes her lover, and by Caravaggio, a friend of her father and sometime-criminal-turned spy. The three establish a loose pattern of precarious existence in a ravaged world and form a bond of love around the dying man whose identity they try to uncover.

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The River Styx Runs Upstream

Simmons, Dan

Last Updated: Nov-08-1995
Annotated by:
Shafer, Audrey

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Summary:

A young boy's mother has just died, and out of grief and love, the father has her "resurrected." The family is told to think of the returned mother as having had a mild stroke, but, in fact, she wanders about the house like an inexpressive automaton. Her return from the dead leads to the destruction of the family: the eventual suicides of the boy's older brother and father. The boy, now a young man, becomes a Resurrectionist himself. He narrates the story with a direct, simple tone, which belies the eerie conclusion: he returns to the home of his youth, where his "family" awaits him.

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Burnout in the Overshoot

Ammons, A. R.

Last Updated: Jun-26-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

It is autumn. The "first cool spell" has come and made its changes, but life continues: "there's something besides // death and nothingness / even if winter is coming." You can never arrive at death. As you approach death, you diminish, so that in the end, "nothing is equal to nothing."

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Consent

Axelrod, David

Last Updated: Jun-26-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

An elderly woman is dying in the hospital. She still speaks to the poet's persona, "even near the end when she only screamed / at her children that they wanted her dead." Though she seems to want to continue living, when she lapses into a coma, her children make "the doctor stop all heroic measures." Thus, they kill her just like she said they would.

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Washing the Corpse

Rilke, Rainer Maria

Last Updated: May-09-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

Two persons are washing the body of a dead man. It becomes dark and they light the kitchen lamp. Because they don't know the man, they invent his story: "since they knew nothing about his life / they lied till they produced another one . . . . " When the body is finally washed, it "lay clean and naked there, and gave commands."

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In the Third Month

Ray, David

Last Updated: Jan-17-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

Three months after his son's death, the author is driving by "the storefront where we found his blue Toyota." He is simply doing errands, nothing special, but suddenly "the tears pour down / as I think how much he wanted to be a man . . . . "After the death, the author found his son's books, including "one stamped in gold but with all the pages blank."

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Alabama

Coulehan, Jack

Last Updated: Jan-04-1995
Annotated by:
Donley, Carol

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poetry

Summary:

This poem is narrated by a physician (probably a young resident) trying to keep Alabama alive ("my stern professor . . . frowns at my attempts to stoke the boiler in her chest.") But Alabama wants to die and whispers to him "Let me go." The physician-narrator, however, is completely committed to keeping her alive, slapping her and saying, "Dammit, Live!"

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Medicine

Walker, Alice

Last Updated: Nov-11-1994
Annotated by:
Nixon, Lois LaCivita

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

An adult tells a very simple story about her elderly grandparents. In the morning the speaker wakes the sleeping couple observing that Grandpa, who is ill and in pain, gains comfort from the old woman in bed beside him. In fact the grandmother IS medicine that "stops the pain" during the night, a medicine contained "in her unbraided hair." Grandma's act of crawling into bed with loosened hair sustains him; it is an act of compassion, of love and an oblique reference to conjugal union.

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Annotated by:
Nixon, Lois LaCivita

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

For those considering a comprehensive overview of plague in Medieval Europe, Hirsch’s long poem is extremely useful. Comprised of thirty-five stanzas, it provides an historical account of devastation associated with the onset of plague in Venice in 1347. An inventory of behavioral responses to catastrophic disease illustrates that responses to AIDS frequently mimic irrational behaviors associated with earlier epidemics. There are references to hysteria, scapegoating, flagellants, illness symptoms, escape, desperate cures, and religious fervor.

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To William Shelley

Shelley, Percy Bysshe

Last Updated: Aug-08-1994
Annotated by:
Moore, Pamela

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

Shelley is writing about the death of his young son, William. He imagines that William's body held a bright spirit who consumed the body of his host. William's body does not lie beneath the headstone. The grave is merely a shrine for the grief of the parents. The child's spirit runs free. Shelley hopes to sense its presence in the colors and scents of the flowers and grasses surrounding the grave.

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