Life is precious. Sometimes throughout life we all experience both good and bad. Sometimes life is rough, even brutal. Experiences throughout life can leave one scarred; we may not always live up to what we can be, or are able to achieve. Whether or not life has left you scarred, or you have scarred the lives of others, you still deserve the right to live. “To the Mercy Killers”, by Dudley Randall, is a poem about life; Randall believes that mercy should be granted to all of us, despite the imperfect life we have lived. Throughout the poem Randall uses irony and metaphors to portray the theme of “To the Mercy Killers.
The theme of this poem is life. We all deserve to live, despite the hardships we have faced or the wrongs we have committed. Randall writes, “Never conspire with death to set me free / but let me know such life as pain can give. ” (3-4). Although his life has been painful and rough, he asks to not be set free. Despite all of his sufferings, he is asking for one gift – life. “Even though I turn such traitor to myself / as beg to die, do not accomplice me. ” (9-10), here Randall is admitting to letting himself or another person down and wishes to die for his mistakes, but he knows that death is not the answer.
The happenings throughout Randall’s life have made him calloused, soul-less: Even though I seem not human, a mute shelf Of glucose, bottled blood, machinery To swell the lung and pump the heart – even so, Do not put out my life. Let me still glow. (11-14). And still, Randall says, “…Let me still glow. ” He is asking for mercy to live and prosper, even though he isn’t himself anymore. Dudley Randall also uses irony throughout the poem, to further convey the theme. “To the Mercy Killers” starts out with the line, “If ever mercy move you murder me, / I pray you, kindly killers, let me live. (1-2). Randall uses irony to refer to the killers, or death, as kind. Randall seems to be portraying the killers as kind because they are an escape from the life that he has lived. Although the killers are acting out of “kindness” in the sense that they would be letting him go, Randall asks for their mercy; Randall would rather live than accept their “kindness. ” Throughout the poem “To the Mercy Killers”, Dudley Randall uses imagery and metaphors. Dudley describes himself as an insignificance or burden in life: Even though I be a clot, an aching clench,
A stub, a stump, a butt, a scab, a knob, A screaming pain, a putrefying stench… Still let me live, so long as life shall throb. (5-7) A stub or stump is used as a metaphor to describe himself as he is now in life. He has been cut down, reduced to almost nothing throughout life. He is not completely dead, however, he has just been diminished to almost nothing, and wishes to continue growing – wishes to continue living. The author uses imagery to describe his repulsiveness and burden when he mentions being “…a putrefying stench…” (6). On occasion life can be repulsive and grotesque.
We are often faced with many hardships and burdens that we cannot ignore, such as a putrefying stench. These unnerving stenches, or rough times, often cause us to step back from reality and regain our composure. It is Randall’s combination of imagery and metaphor that portray the theme of “To the Mercy Killers. ” No matter how tough life has been, or how diminished we may feel, we deserve the chance to live. As hard as life as may be, or has been, there is still more to life than death. Dudley Randall portrays the theme of life throughout his poem “To the Mercy Killers. ” Life is too precious to just let the kindly killers take it.