World Poetry Day

World Poetry Day

A recent visit to the grave of WB Yeats meant taking the ubiquitous photos – sorry I’ve sidelined the people who were in the photo, but I’m sure they’ll forgive me.

I could use a Yeat’s quote or something from one of my favourites such as Louis MacNeice, Ciaran Carson or Meabh McGuckian, naming but a few. Instead, remembering I’m in a Medical Library, here’s a medical related poem.

Every year Annals of Internal Medicine run a poetry competition and the following which won the 2012 prize speaks volumes, which is why I value poetry so highly.

Daniela Matei, MD

I dressed up in my new tight
perfectly tailored brooks brothers skirt I put on
mademoiselle perfume blue shadow around my eyes
tan peep-toe heels before
heading out
I kept my smile the misty pleasant scent
throughout the day I did not flinch
sharing my compassion
endlessly I shook
hands patted shoulders
I did not feel pain until
five o’clock

when I walked out spring
was finally here the balmy wind
blossoms on every tree
cancer is pink.

The citation for this is: Ad Libitum. Daniela Matei: Bloom. Ann Int Med. 2012; 157 (4): 297.

Happy World Poetry Day.



Poetry Wednesday: For Librarians

While looking for a poem, I came across this great blog – says it all…

From SJ Wesson, a librarian who posted “Earful of Cider” and included Hans Olstrom’s poem for librarians and Jon Goode performing “The Librarian”.

Earful of Cider

There are a remarkable number of poems praising libraries and librarians, and while this is as it should be, I can’t help but notice that most of these are idealized versions of how libraries used to be and librarians never really were. And several are just a tad . . . precious for my personal taste.

Not that I’m knocking the support—if memories of date stamps and hair-bunned spinsters will get those tax levies passed, I’ll hand out calligraphied copies on ink-stained catalog cards and throw in a free pair of nostalgia-colored glasses.

But in these times of economic, social, political, and technological uncertainty, when vocal Haves appear to assume—hell, flat-out announce—that everything worth knowing is on the Internet now, so libraries have become cemeteries for useless information and since everyone—except the Have Not crowd, who clearly don’t count—has equal, easy access to Internet resources anyway,  it would…

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Tara Sparling writes

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