Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin for Unsplash

We can find the positives in our present quarantined situation, writes Dr. Dennis Lansang.

Doctor Pens Poetic “Reply”

Urging Learning and Bonding, D-Lang Echoes 17th Century Poets

In the tradition of the English Renaissance poets Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh, Chemistry
Teacher Dr. Dennis Lansang has composed a friendly “reply poem,” titled “An Opportunity for More than Just
Existence,” to Charbel Adjogble’s poem, “Dejected Existence.” In addition to the poem below, Dr. Lansang
wrote this note to Charbel, a  UD1, whose poem was published on these pages yesterday.
Dear Charbel:
I commend you on the terrific composition that has been submitted and published by the Benedict News.  Your words are heartfelt and I can sympathize with the feeling of despair that many are experiencing during these challenging times.
So the thing I’d like to offer is a hopeful reply, in the form of a reply poem.  I tried to parallel each of your stanzas with a poetic reply of my own.  In case you haven’t learned about them yet, there were two poets, Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh, whose poems, written in 1599 and 1600, are now often learned together because one poem was the “reply” to the original.  Here’s a link:  https://poets.org/poem/passionate-shepherd-his-love
Here’s your opus, and my reply.  I hope it will give you some comfort, or, at the very least, some amusement.

Dejected Existence

Charbel Adjogble UD1

By the fourth week of practicing social distancing,

COVID-19 cases still increase.

I’m tired of being in isolation,

Even the infected are tired of being in isolation.

People are losing hope because of the possibility of there being no cure or treatment

And there seems to be no close end to this madness.

This is what everyone is feeling, not a desperate exaggeration,

The kind thrown out to show the seriousness of the world’s current situation.

This is to soon be the natural state of life and living,

For the people, the world, the day,

The night, and for all of time,

All because of a disease, the Coronavirus.

During my boredom, I look outside.

There is nothing but empty streets and quiet towns.

People are hiding so they don’t acquire the disease,

We are all afraid of this disease.

I am dressed with protective gear.

I wear a mask and gloves.

 I even wear a customized suit

To protect myself from the Coronavirus.

 This disease is an endless source of chaos.

Like anything with a source,

Circumstances are created, some good or bad,

And in this case, they’re bad.

The not wanting to go away disease,

The cause of our insanity,

The cause of our unplumbable sadness,

This damn disease.

The disease is sweeping through people

Emptying all different places,

Showing no mercy, especially to the elderly,

But we all rather go out in the public

Then be imprisoned at home.

The disease creates no peace,

But creates fear and death,

So we fight back, just how COVID-19 is fighting us.

An Opportunity for More than Just Existence

Dr. Dennis Lansang

By the next week of this new way of living

That we’ve euphemistically called distancing,

We should all take this opportunity

To improve our family unity.

Our families, during this time, can be a source of hope

And this surely will help all of us to cope

With this temporary measure that many lives will save,

So use this time wisely, and be brave.

This is only a temporary way of living,

Because there are scientists who are busy with solving

The mystery of this insidious illness.

Let’s trust these scientists with this business.

What you must fight is the feeling of being bored.

Read and learn, and new skills will be your reward.

And remember we are not hiding out of fear,

We’re social distancing because we care.

When everyone wears masks, they do it to protect

Not themselves, but others, as COVID is hard to detect.

And aside from a mask, all you need is soap,

With water to wash your hands, it will give you hope.

This illness can become a source of inspiration

If we use this time apart for our own education:

We can learn about ourselves: what do we value?

Adversity identifies what’s important to you.

COVID can be the “soon-will-be-away” disease

If we follow social distancing, we’ll soon be at ease.

The curve is being flattened, and less are dying,

Because society sacrificed instead of not trying.

Yes, people have died, but it could have been worse,

And now the air is cleaner, pollution in reverse.

We have been reminded to value our family,

The young ones, and the middle ones, and the elderly.

This isn’t prison: we stayed home to have an effect

Because social distancing is meant to protect

The most vulnerable in our society,

And has kept more people healthy.

This is part of a continuing blog tracking the highs and lows of life in the St. Benedict’s community as its members weather the effects of a worldwide coronavirus outbreak.

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