rudyard

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A Broken Ankle – Hymn to Physical Pain by Rudyard Kipling

Readers,

In an unexpected and unfortunate event, I broke my ankle in two places last week.  The biggest lesson learned and learned quickly, pain pills are something to embrace in the early stages of recovery because Pain during recovery can be just as intense as Pain during injury. 

Between the frequent periods of narcotic sleep, and with the thrum of my heartbeat felt in the tips of my toes I tried and tried to remember the author of a poem about Pain I had read in my childhood.  After finally being cognizant of the world around me, I was able to pop open my laptop and finally found it.

For those of you who are willing, I’d love to hear your interpretation of the following poem or your own poetic interpretation of Pain.  You’ll note that I give Pain the honor of capitalization throughout this post; after five days together I can only consider Pain part of my immediate family.

 

Hymn to Physical Pain

DREAD Mother of forgetfulness
Who, when Thy reign begins,
Wipest away the soul’s distress
And memory of her sins.

The trusty Worm that diest not –
The steadfast Fire also,
By thy contrivance are forgot
In a completer woe.

Thine are the lidless eyes of night
That stare upon our tears,
Through certain hours which in our sight
Exceed a thousand years.

Thine is the thickness of the Dark
That presses in our pain,
As Thine the Dawn that bids us mark
Life’s grinning face again.

And when thy tender mercies cease
And life unvexed is due,
Instant upon the false release
The Worm and Fire renew.

Wherefore we praise Thee in the deep,
And on our beds we pray
For Thy return, that Thou may’st keep
The Pains of Hell at bay !

                   ~ Rudyard Kipling

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