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    • POEM: Late Fragment by Raymond Carver (1/30/2010 3:18:00 PM)

      This is indeed a beautiful fragment, written as Raymond Carver was dying from cancer. He had in mind Coleridge's 'The Pains of Sleep' I think. Coleridge wrote about the torments he suffered in the throes of an opium soaked sleep,

      Such punishments, I said, were due
      To natures deepliest stained with sin, —
      For aye entempesting anew
      The unfathomable hell within
      The horror of their deeds to view,
      To know and loathe, yet wish and do!
      Such griefs with such men well agree,
      But wherefore, wherefore fall on me?
      To be beloved is all I need,
      And whom I love, I love indeed.

      Coleridge was questioning why these torments were visited on him when he did not feel that he deserved such pain and anguish. When you understand the reference, Carvers words when facing his own death are all the more poignant.