From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.
-Edgar Allan Poe
OLD SCHOOL PLASTIC SURGERY
The First World War was a war dominated by high explosives and heavy artillery. Battlefield casualties included an unprecedented number with horrific facial injuries – injuries so severe the men were commonly unrecognizable to loved ones and friends. Often unable to see, hear, speak eat or drink, they struggled to re-assimilate back into civilian life. This secondary tragedy – the living unable to “live” – catalyzed Surgeon Sir Harold Gillies to transform the fledgling discipline of plastic surgery based on his unrivalled observation of the profoundly wounded and his ability to push the parameters of the profession beyond all known techniques.