by Chet Raymo
All those centuries that we lived in cloaks of flesh that dissolved with disease into oozing pustules and suppurating sores. Limbs thinned and belly bloated with hunger. Eyes that ran dark with effluents. Diarrhea.
Bleeding, leeching, trepanation. The mortal danger of childbirth. The paralyzing pain of cancer. Toothache, nearly continuous. Who would choose to go back to the days before the advent of modern medical science, when the only thing that made physical existence bearable was the dream of leaving bone and sinew behind?
The thin red jellies within you and me...”
The gifts of modern medicine, sanitation engineering, agronomy. And with them, for the first time in history, the body rises up and claims its own, dispels the phantasm of the immaterial soul- and sings.
O I say these are not parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul,
O I say now these are the soul!”