Saturday, February 02, 2008

Silent Poetry Reading

Hamlet on Vaccination

Karlie Shorrock

To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate: that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The horror of polio and smallpox,
Or to take shots against a raging virus,
And through immunity eradicate them. To die, to get a shot:
No more: and by a shot to say we end the heartache,
And the thousand natural illnesses
That flesh is heir to, ‘tis an end
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to get a shot;
To get a shot: perchance to feel pain: Ay, there’s the rub;
For in that shot what pain may come,
When we have shuffled to the clinic,
Must give us pause: there’s the fear
That makes disease of so long life:
For who would bear the whips and scorns of malaria,
The itch of chickenpox, the breathlessness of pneumonia,
The fire of meningitis, the agony of tuberculosis,
The suffering of pertussis, and the nausea
That patient merit of the illness takes,
When he himself might his wellness have kept
With a mere shot? Who would sickness bear,
To fever and sweat under an ugly virus,
But that dread of pain after a shot,
The undiscover’d pain from whose clinic
No victim ever returns, puzzles the doctors
And makes us rather bear the pain and disease we have,
Than to get a shot which would prevent them?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of mass vaccination
With this regard their people turn awry
And let loose disease to run rampant.

No comments: