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The Operating Table by Alex Butler


Plate 4 from Aldini's Essai théorique et expérimental sur le galvanisme, avec une série d'expériences (1804) - Source: Wellcome Library

As a surgical nurse, I am fortunate to witness the beautiful details and wild intricacies that make up the human body on a daily basis. From vein to artery, tissue to organ. And so when I came across this passage from Mary Shelley's masterpiece, I felt an obligation to contribute words along with it; transplanting and injecting my own thoughts like a syringe into the side of the passage. My 14-line sonnet fits in the passage as bolded text, complete with the traditional rhyming couplet at the end.

Poem can be read three ways: alone, with the surrounding text, and the non-bolded by itself.


“The Operating Table”

Alex Butler, RN

Immured Sonnet, using Mary Shelley’s 1818 ‘Frankenstein’

To be read 3-ways



FrankensteinImmured
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Alex Butler is a nurse in the operating rooms at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, specializing in the trauma and oncology unit. He is an avid reader and writer, living in Somerville, where he enjoys cooking with his wife, Allison.