Editor’s note: In Fall of 2002 Nona, who holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance Literature, was a participant in a two-week elective in literature and medicine offered to students in their fourth year.  She wrote “Convergence” during this class, in which we, among other things, embarked upon an interpretation of Keat’s poem, “Ode to a Nightingale.”  As a member of that class, I would like to thank Nona for sharing her perspective.
~Janet Lee, Senior Editor


(In honor of my M4 humanities classmates, November, 2002)

I say:
We can die by it, if not live for love.

You say:
Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.

In vain
Once mapped out a medical path.
But Watson’s helical bondings bored.
Bohr’s elementary particles weren’t.
Mendel’s genetics bore no fruit.
Shut the door!

Flensed the flesh made word;
Phsyicked the humors of Canterbury pilgrims;
Triaged the divine Jane’s universal truths;
Weighed the worlds in a wooden O.
“Placetne, magistra?” “Placed.”

In truth
Live my parents’ dream.
For you would bear the whips and scorns of interns,
The resident’s wrongs, the attending’s contumely;
And take arms against the seas of patients’ troubles.
Whether you shall turn out to be the hero of your own life, or whether that
station will be
held by anyone else, other pages will tell.

In quest
Gather now at the gleaming table.
To anatomise with sharp thought
To diagnose with perceptive eye
To scan with confident ear
A nightingale.

Fling wide the magic casements:
Let us begin.

Nona C. Flores, Ph.D.

Assistant to the Head, Department of Pediatrics, UICOM-Chicago