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January 15, 2010

Poetry Friday--"And Death Shall Have No Dominion"

Photo courtesy of United Nations Development Programme

The past few days have been filled with news of the devastating consequences of an earthquake in Haiti.

The photos of people dazed and wandering, the piles of rubble that were once homes, the bodies lining the streets, are almost unbearable to view.

This has been on my mind and has led me to a a poem by Dylan Thomas.

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
Read the rest here.

I find a bit of consolation in this poem, especially the line, They shall have stars at elbow and foot.

Author, Tracy Kidder, wrote about a Boston-based organization, Partners in Health, in his book, Mountains Beyond Mountains. I saw Kidder on television last night, and he urged people to support PIH since it is already at work in Haiti. Being situated a distance from Port-au-Prince, Zanmi Lasante, which is Haitian creole for Partners in Health, was immediately able to start providing aid. If you are able, perhaps you will consider supporting Partners in Health.

Visit Great Kid Books for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.


  1. Romans 6:8-9 says, "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him."

    Thanks for the poem. I have hope that the people who died in Haiti are no longer under the dominion of death, but living in the presence of the Lord.

  2. I am drawn to that line as well,They shall have stars at elbow and foot.

    Thank you for this thoughtful reminder.

  3. So much destruction. One little contribution feels like it could never help. Hopefully all our little contributions will come together into something big enough to make a difference.