David's Favorite Poems
An Irish Airman Forsees His Death
by William Butler Yeats
You can imagine David identifying with the "impulse of delight" that drove the airman to seek the thrill of living fully.
|I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My county is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
"Pain Has an Element of Blank"
The first two poems were on a bookmarked page in one of David's four volumes of Emily Dickinson's poems. They express two sides of his long struggle with cancer.
Pain has an element of blank;
It has no future but itself,
"I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed"
I taste a liquor never brewed,
Inebriate of air am I,
When landlords turn the drunken bee
Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
I'm nobody! Who are you?
How dreary to be somebody!