Poetry in Medicine: An Anthology of Poems About Doctors, Patients, Illness and Healing

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Just as paintings throughout the ages record evolving cultures and capture the essence of the time, so does literature and poetry use the rhythm of the word to induce sensations and illustrate emotions. Collected in this anthology of medical verse are poems from across the ages that reflect on the human condition. Its fourteen sections divide the content into parts covering remedies, procedures, types of ailments, infections, children’s treatments, tumors, death, care-givers, and other aspects of illness. Many of the contributors are familiar names in literature and medicine, others enhance the content with salient sentiments. Recognizable poets include Ovid, Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, E. E. Cummings, H. W. Longfellow, Ogden Nash, Emily Dickinson, William Shakespeare, along with one of my favorites William Carlos Williams. These concise and pithy writings reveal the scope of emotions that afflict us during times of fever, fear, uncertainty, hope, dying, healing, and how we relate to one another. There is humor, irony, sorrow, and much reflection on the world of medicine. As Anne Sexton says in her poem on Doctors, “If the doctors cure, then the sun sees it…If the doctors kill, then the earth hides it.”


Reviewed By:

Author Michael Salcman, Editor, Michael Collier, Foreword
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher Persea
Publish Date 2015-Feb-16
ISBN 9780892554492
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2015
Category Poetry & Short Stories
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