oa South African Medical Journal - A swannish song? - : editorial

Volume 102, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



The phrase 'swan song' refers to a belief dating from ancient Greece that the swan is completely silent during its lifetime until the moment just before death, when it sings one beautiful song. This incorrect belief has been frequently reiterated in poetry and art. 'Swan song' is generally used as a metaphorical phrase for a final gesture, effort or performance given just before death or retirement. As my role in the draws to a close, it seems appropriate to provide a 'swannish' song as it is possible that I and my editor colleague, Dan Ncayiyana, may in future still figure on these pages, though in much lesser roles. But firstly I (we) wish our successor, the new editor, all of the best for the future in this role!

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