Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Memento Mori

I found this poem by Henry Scott Holland. Here's the first verse;

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

And I thought... really?

It's one of those pieces that from the moment I read it, I was overcome with the urge to rewrite it. It's that last line that's getting to me.... I'll explain;
I used to go to school with Freddie Mercury's niece.. and one day I overheard this exchange:

Boy: Are you Freddie Mercury's niece?
Niece: Yeah
Boy: No you're not! He's dead! Hahaha !

Did she stop being his neice when he died? Did he stop being her uncle when he died? Henry Scott Holland doesn't think so.
But look at me! I am nobody's granddaughter. There's no one on earth who would claim I am that to them. If you asked me I'd say I don't have any grandparents and you'd accept that. We'd both unwittingly agree that the relationship between my dead grandparents and I has been severed.

So Mister Holland, here's how I think your poem should read:

Whatever we were to each other
That, has been voided.

By the way, this is the chorus to Alanis Morrisette's You live, you learn, which goes

You grieve you learn, you choke you learn
You laugh you learn, you choose you learn
You pray you learn, you ask you learn
You live you learn

But which is clearly suffering from an acute case of the jollies because it absolutely should go:

You grieve you learn,you choke you learn
You laugh you learn, you choose you learn
You pray you learn, you ask you learn
You crash, you burn.

That one has been bugging me for years.


Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of the latin phrase: 'Post hoc, ergo propter hoc', which loosely translated reads 'Since that event followed this one, that event must have been caused by this one'. So Jarvissa, i have to disagree, you will always have grandparents, you just don't see them anymore.

P.S. Love the new site... Keep up the great work.

P.P.S I can't believe your still listening to 'jagged little pill'!!!! Ha

Jarvissa said...

Ah but that phrase is a logical fallacy. I'll take you to mean 'that' event being I have no grandparents and 'this' event being I have grandparents, therefore I only have no grandparents because I once had grandparents. That actually strengthens my case and not yours; it acknowledges the shift between being and nothingness. You'd have done better to quote Parmenides, for his reasoning is that if we can still speak of a thing from the past, it must still exist (in some sense.)Of course, he also concluded there to be no such thing as change; that there is no coming-into-being and no not-being. Our very existence refutes this! so it's a flawed model that argues my post ;)