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Images of Life and Death in Bavarian Gentians As the last couple of days of summer fade off, and September's ending brings promises of a cold, gloomy autumn, the feast of Michaelmas has come and gone, and you can't help but be reminded of D. H. Lawrence's "Bavarian Gentians," a poem which commences by reminiscing of this sad days at the end of September, if summer has finally shattered along with its own untoward and wreak havoc breath. Like the times that separate summer from autumn, Lawrence's poem, one of his final, is a miserable and humorous read. It seduces audiences with its slow dance with gloomy death. It speaks to pupils with its melancholic passion. It breathes life into the very last days prior to death. A death that comes from tuberculosis is never surprising. The disorder develops slowly until it gradually overcomes its victim, who must wait patiently with a terrible patience for this last moment. At the end of The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann speaks parting words into his protagonist that speak for the ravages of both TB and its virtually inevitable force, "The evil dance where you are caught up will last many a sinful year nonetheless, and we would not wager much that you will come out entire" As a longtime sufferer of TB, Lawrence too was caught up in a "wicked dancing," one that must have caused him, like the speaker in the poem, to feel as though he had been guiding himself "...using the blue, forked flashlight of this flower / down the darker and darker stairs..." until he finally reached his destination, the "sightless realm where darkness would be awake upon dark." В В The poem itself is a complex net, a trance enjoy fantasy that indicates a gravitation toward passing and a transcendence beyond it. The speaker speaks of "the halls of Dis" and of traveling down where.