What the Doctor said by Raymond Carver


In my previous post I mentioned ” A new path to the waterfall” by Raymond Carver, so I thought that it would be a good idea to mention soemthing about this writer. He was one of the most influential writers of the second half of the twentieth century, who died prematurely in 1988 at the young age of fifty. He was considered one of the greatest short story writers of his generation, responsible, some say, for reviving the fortunes of the short story. His stories were peopled with everyday people and everyday problems. At the end of his life he started to produce poetry, and here is an example of one of his last poems, which talks about his encounter with his doctor after being told he had lung cancer.

What the Doctor said 

He said it doesn’t look good
he said it looks bad in fact real bad
he said I counted thirty-two of them on one lung before
I quit counting them
I said I’m glad I wouldn’t want to know
about any more being there than that
he said are you a religious man do you kneel down
in forest groves and let yourself ask for help
when you come to a waterfall
mist blowing against your face and arms
do you stop and ask for understanding at those moments
I said not yet but I intend to start today
he said I’m real sorry he said
I wish I had some other kind of news to give you
I said Amen and he said something else
I didn’t catch and not knowing what else to do
and not wanting him to have to repeat it
and me to have to fully digest it
I just looked at him
for a minute and he looked back it was then
I jumped up and shook hands with this man who’d just given me
something no one else on earth had ever given me
I may have even thanked him habit being so strong

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s