Sunday, September 4, 2016

Disputation -- Edwin S. Shneidman

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I remember when the inner disputation
Was quite fierce (to pursue the game, or sign
A full stop to pain). The call was mine --
Or so it seemed. Each voice a singular temptation:


The beguiling cries of longed-for rest,
The easeful quiet, the total peace
-- what a boon! -- finally to cease
The struggle; to know that nothingness is best.


But then, from the barely bubbling sieve
Of my active self, a tired but urgent call
To return to habit and duty; reluctantly to fall
Again into pain and heartache -- and to live.


Oh soul! thou then stood on an isthmus break
And heard, in separate ears, Aegean and Ionian wave.
Which sea? To drown, or combers once again to brave?
The vital choice was solely mine to make.





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