On the Death of an Infant – Turner – Collage 2

like an arctic flower s

On this blustery Blizzard Tuesday, may I present the second collage by Ms. Kerfe Roig illustrating “On the Death of an Infant” by Frederick Turner. I featured the first collage for this emotional poem yesterday (scroll down or click here).

On the Death of an Infant

Latecomer, first to go,

Like the small arctic flower

Between the snow and snow,

The fragrance of an hour.

Turner’s elegant quatrain presents to us an uncomfortable and difficult theme, but one which has always been a part of the human experience. In doing research recently for a class, I learned that child mortality in the United States is estimated to have reached nearly 50%  in the years before antibiotics became widely available. The master artist Francisco Goya lost 6 of his 7 children before they reached adulthood. President Calvin Coolidge lost his young son to a septic infection that started from a foot blister.  Even today, medical science understands precious little about what causes most miscarriages, premature or still births. Poem by Frederick Turner (his website is here) and collage by Kerfe Roig (her blog is here). May everyone weather the winter storm safely!


    1. Especially in this day and age (as so many commentators have noted before me), when death is kept away, medicalized, and sequestered, these poems connect us to the way death was experienced in the past and its enduring reality.


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