Posts for Tag: Poetry

The Healing Art

A doctor, Rafael Campo, and three of his students discuss the importance of poetry to their work. I'm taken by the doctor's words

"To me the patient's voice, the stories they have to tell are absolutely central to the work of healing. ... The poetry of the encounter helps me to think even more effectively and more thoughtfully really about that. I feel like listening to that story and really attuning my ear to the patients voice helps me listen to their heart more clearly ."

and I love that one of the students emphasize that the started to express her thoughts by hand after losing a patient. I respond to the expression and the depth of feeling here, but I think I've found only concern, not feeling, in my own care. How could I deepen the relationships I already have, I wonder?

Muscle Memory

The concluding stanzas of What the Heart Cannot Forget by Joyce Sutphen. In a decidedly unpoetic way, the image reminds me of the way my body feels when someone helps me exercise long unused muscles.

And the skin remembers its scars, and the bone aches
where it was broken. The feet remember the dance,
and the arms remember lifting up the child.

The heart remembers everything it loved and gave away,
everything it lost and found again, and everyone
it loved, the heart cannot forget.

I never figured that out

From a profile of Poet Laureate Billy Collins in today's New York Times. I'm also taken by the advice to read poetry instead of a timeline.

FOLLOWING I am a nonparticipant of social media. I’m not much attracted to anything that involves the willing forfeiture of privacy and the foregrounding of insignificance. So I can proudly say that I’ve never tweeted, but I am struck by the apparent coincidence of the 140 characters — sounds like a Balzac novel — and the 140 syllables in the Elizabethan sonnet. Instead of tweeting that you had great pizza tonight, why not read some haiku by Buson? Doesn’t poetry seem just right for our ever shrinking attention spans? O.K., never mind.