Pectoriloquy |

Why Did I Cough, Why Did I Laugh Tonight? FREE TO VIEW

Victor Howes
Author and Funding Information

Boston, MA

Correspondence to: Victor Howes, 137 West Newton St, Boston, MA 02118; e-mail: ETakino@aol.com

Chest. 2008;133(2):582. doi:10.1378/chest.07-1688
Text Size: A A A
Published online

John Keats, March 1819

Why did I cough tonight? What makes me wheeze?

What common cold, uncommon, grips my throat?

No answer. What incurable disease,

What lurking bug of no known antidote,

What chicken flu binds me with mutant link

To feathered friends? What mad cow virus

Invades my blood? From what cause do I shrink …

Singapore SARS? A gene from Grandpa Cyrus?

And will I find philosophy enough

To friend me in my contest with the reaper,

To let me laugh, as young John Keats could laugh.

Whose cough was deep as mine, or even deeper?

Wind winnows wheat, but blows away the chaff.

Why did I cough? John Keats, why did you laugh?

Editor’s Note: This formal Shakespearean sonnet, unusual in poetry these days, was written by a retired professor of English. For readers of CHEST, both the subject of the poem and the fact that Keats died of tuberculosis make it aptly suitable for selection— Michael Zack, MD, Section Editor of Pectoriloquy.

The author has no conflict of interest to disclose.




Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Find Similar Articles
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543