A poem reflecting on the choices Harry makes in Chapters 34
and 35 of Deathly Hallows.
The Heir of Peverell Chooses Normalcy and a Sandwich*
They told him it would be painless—
That’s what his lost loved ones said, before he dropped
the stone that called them to him, and took his solitary
walk toward death.
And it was—painless, that is. A last sweet thought, a sudden
No pain, no. Just…nothing.
He could have gone on….
He knew. He understood, finally, where he was, what choice
he had, and that tales told of near-death are not just the stuff of dreams. He
could have gone on. Gone on, taken a well-earned rest, retired from life, from
the strife he’d never asked for in the first place.
Death would have been the painless choice. But eternal death
meant eternal loss—for the living are lost to the dead just as surely as the
dead are lost to the living.
Hadn’t he lost enough? Life was risky. Life was painful.
But love was his choice, so life was his choice.
He didn’t go on.
* * * * *
The headmaster told him he held the secret in his blood—
That he, and he alone, could conquer death itself.
He could have gone back…
He knew! He understood, finally, who he was, what he was,
and that tales told to children are not just the stuff of dreams. He could have
gone back. Gone back, found the dropped stone, united it with the cloak and the
wand. Lived forever.
Life would have been the painless choice. But eternal life
meant eternal loss—for the dead are lost to the living just as surely as the
living are lost to the dead.
Hadn’t he lost enough? Death was risky. Death might even be
painful, next time.
But love was his choice, so death was his choice.
He didn’t go back.
*“He rejects fame, power,
and immortality in favor of normalcy and a sandwich.” -- from Brooklyn Arden, the blog of Cheryl
Klein, July 22, 2007. Ms. Klein is the editor at Arthur Levine Books who worked
on U.S. editions of HP.