Dealing with Death

ed rosenthal
July 23, 2015

I just reviewed this  less than six posted poems since January  have to do in some way with death, which is strange, because as I grow older, and as I experience the deaths of others close to me, death has become a part of life.   But when I was young, I was haunted by a pervasive fear of death.   Either I dealt with it ironically, as here, or aggressively, as in the following verse from 1965:

I know you, Death, you cannot hide.
It's most unseemly to be weak.
Come out - I shall be satisfied
With only - call it - "morticide".
Since that your moving finger writ
Your name in blood upon my cheek,
My honor's called out for revenge -
You must be made to answer it.
You shrink, my friend?  Is that a twinge
Of fear on your unmanly brow?
I am Immortal - I have died.
You must be made to answer now.

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