First, watch this:
Then read the poem it inspired, which was written by one of my favorite poets, Wislawa Szymborska:
As a short subject before the main feature –
in which the actors did their best
to make me cry and even laugh –
we were shown an interesting experiment
involving a head.
a minute earlier was still attached to…
but now it was cut off.
Everyone could see that it didn’t have a body.
The tubes dangling from the neck hooked it up to a machine
that kept its blood circulating.
was doing just fine.
Without showing pain or even surprise,
it followed a moving flashlight with its eyes.
It pricked up its ears at the sound of a bell.
Its moist nose could tell
the smell of bacon from odorless oblivion,
and licking its chops with evident relish
it salivated its salute to physiology.
A dog’s faithful head,
a dog’s friendly head
squinted its eyes when stroked,
convinced that it was still part of a whole
that crooks its back if patted
and wags its tail.
I thought about happiness and was frightened.
For if that’s all life is about,
Via the always interesting Vaughn