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GeriPal - A Geriatrics and Palliative Care Podcast

Mar 31, 2022

In her essay “Why Read a Poem in a Time Like This?”, Marilyn McEntyre writes:

All of us need it. We need it because good poems do something prose can’t do. They invite and enable us to notice the precarious fissures in what we think is solid ground. They direct us toward the light at the edge of things — the horizon, the fragment of dream before dawn, the feeling that’s hard to name, and can only be accurately captured by metaphor. They take us to the edge of “what can’t be said,” and ambush us into feeling before we think, so that we can’t simply and complacently “believe everything we think.” Poetry deals in surprise and subversion and turns old words to new purposes.

Marilyn is joined by Guy Micco to talk about why poetry is important in general, why it’s important in medical or nursing education, and why it’s important for people who care for older adults.

Along the way, they read poems, talk about poems, and sing a song by John Prine.  We talk about how poetry can surprise, how poems can be playful, how they unlock dimensions and emotions that are otherwise locked away.  How sometimes good poetry can be like a needed punch.

And maybe, just maybe, we convince that poetry skeptic Eric Widera that there is a place for poetry in medicine after all.




Links to essays and books by Marilyn McEntyre

Links to Songs/Poems from the Podcast: