Methodist Journal

FEATURED GUEST EDITOR

ISSUE INTRO

The Scourge of Cardiogenic Shock

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RECOGNITIONS

Arvind Bhimaraj, MD, MPH, Guides Issue on Cardiogenic Shock

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REVIEW ARTICLES See More

Pathophysiology and Advanced Hemodynamic Assessment of Cardiogenic Shock

Cardiogenic Shock in the Setting of Acute Myocardial Infarction

Cardiogenic Shock in Patients with Advanced Chronic Heart Failure

Acute Mechanical Circulatory Support for Cardiogenic Shock

Management of Cardiogenic Shock in a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

Physiological Concepts of Cardiogenic Shock Using Pressure-Volume Loop Simulations: A Case-Based Review

Systems of Care in Cardiogenic Shock

Cardiogenic Shock in Perioperative and Intraoperative Settings: A Team Approach

CASE REPORTS See More

Repair of Extent III Thoracoabdominal Aneurysm in the Presence of Aortoiliac Occlusion

Williams-Beuren Syndrome: The Role of Cardiac CT in Diagnosis

A Rare Case of Pancreatitis-Induced Thrombosis of the Aorta and Superior Mesenteric Artery

Anomalous Origin of the Right Coronary Artery from the Left Main Coronary Artery in the Setting of Critical Bicuspid Aortic Valve Stenosis

MUSEUM OF HMH MULTIMODALITY IMAGING CENTER See More

A T2-Weighty Discovery: Aortitis on Cardiac MRI with Histopathologic Correlation

CLINICAL PERSPECTIVES See More

POINTS TO REMEMBER

Acute Kidney Injury in Cardiogenic Shock

EXCERPTA

Cardio-Oncology, Then and Now: An Interview with Barry Trachtenberg

POINTS TO REMEMBER

Onconephrology: An Evolving Field

POINTS TO REMEMBER

Herbal Nephropathy

EDITORIALS

Letter to the Editor in Response to “Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy in Diabetes Mellitus”

Vol 16, Issue 1 (2020)

Article Full Text

POET'S PEN

Shiloh: a Requiem (April, 1862)

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Article Citation:

Young JB. Shiloh: a Requiem (April, 2862)



Shiloh: a Requiem (April, 1862)

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh—
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh—
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there—
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve—
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh

 

— Herman Melville

First published in Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866)

 

The Tragedies of History Inform Us

The turmoil we endure in today’s world disturbs and challenges us. Some would argue that this is the nature of life. News of battles and war have become daily features in the media. For many of us, we can’t help but think back on our history. I remember with grief the death of high school mates in Vietnam more than 50 years ago, and then I read of coffins coming back from Afghanistan filled, yet again, with snuffed young life. I sometimes think in terms of the Dickensian phrase “…the worst of times.” But then my mind drifts back to the American Civil War, and I know that was far worse.

Ken Burns’ dramatic miniseries detailing the history of that infamy is contemporary, but Herman Melville’s “Shiloh: A Requiem (April, 1862)” appeared in his first book of poetry, Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), and also reminds us of that tragedy. Paying more attention to history can help us understand our dilemmas of today, and poetry helps with that. Melville, better known as the novelist of Moby Dick (1851), his seminal work, turned to poetry in his early career when his literary success was questioned. His first book of poetry was not a success, with fewer than 500 copies sold by 1868. In that work, Melville included essays on how he believed Reconstruction of the South should be carried out, and this apparently sparked controversy and limited sales. His poem “Shiloh: A Requiem (April, 1862)” was short, artistic, and haunting, recounting the battle’s death and mayhem the day after the fight. The 1862 Battle of Shiloh was waged in Tennessee when General Ulysses Grant’s Union troops were surprised by the Confederates. Union soldiers fought fiercely and ultimately prevailed, but the cost was horrific. Together, the casualties totaled almost 24,000, setting a record for lives lost in a day for American troops.

Across eons, much poetry has been about war and battle. The art captures the devastation, darkness, heroism, and triumph of the reality. It is worth reading to understand and gain insight, and to that end, Homer’s Iliad would be a great place to start.

 

James B. Young, MD
Chief Academic Officer, Cleveland Clinic
Professor of Medicine and Vice-Dean for Cleveland Clinic Academic Affairs
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University
Section Editor, Poet’s Pen, Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal

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