A Letter to My Cadaver With Some Questions I Still Have (Ramon Cancino)

Dear
Mr {…}:
Did you
Hesitate?
(Because I would have
– Ten or
Thirty times.)

Did you like science
When you were
Young?

Who was your favorite teacher?

Cream with your coffee?
What are your
Top five
Favorite songs?
Sunset or sunrise? Ever
Find it hard
Just to
Sleep?

Did you ever
Find your true
Love?

When did you know?

Tell me about
You.
Please.
(There is so much I don’t know.)

Thank you.

Discussion Questions
1. What do you think is the attitude of this author towards dissection? How does this compare with your own experiences/emotions in the lab?
2. Comment on the use of the letter format. How does it add to or change your understanding of the poem? How does the visual layout of the poem affect its meaning?
3. The author inquires about minute details in his cadaver’s former life, i.e. favourite songs, cream with his coffee? Why might it be important to know “the little things”/quirks about individual patients?

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