Sunday 28 March 2010

The Biologist's Valediction to His Wife

Don't count on Heaven, or on Hell.
You're dead. That's it. Adieu. Farewell.
Eternity awaits? Oh, sure!
It's Putrefaction and Manure
And unrelenting Rot, Rot, Rot,
As you regress, from Zoo. to Bot.
I'll Grieve, of course,
Departing wife,
Though Grieving's never
Lengthened Life
Or coaxed a single extra Breath
Out of a Body touched by Death.

"The Biologist's Valediction to His Wife"
from Offcuts by Sherwin Stephen

This poem forms the epigraph to Jim Crace's book Being Dead. The book details the murder of two biologists on a beach and their subsequent decay. Both the book Offcuts and the author Sherwin Stephens are imaginary. But I do like the poem, so I thought I'd share.