Guest Post: Doctor Poetry

By Brenda Butka, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University and Director of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation at Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation HospitalButka_Brenda-profile

You’re a doctor.  What is this poetry-writing thing?   People wonder, though are usually too polite to put the question quite so baldly.  Poetry?  A pretty pointless way to spend one’s time, isn’t it?  Shouldn’t you be out saving lives?  Or something?

What good, really, is a song, or a painting?  Why pick a blue-glazed platter when a cheap plastic one will do?   All I can really say is that beauty, arranging things in an interesting way, creating useful or intriguing patterns, is simply something humans do, an essential part of being who we are.

As physicians, we are extraordinarily privileged, instantly taken into the lives of patients, their friends and families, often in very sad and tragic times.   We see human bodies, inside and out, and hear how people make do, how they tell their stories, how they cope—or don’t—with loneliness or disability.  We have our own stories to tell, inside the hospital and at home, living in this brilliant and fractious world.

So why do doctors do creative stuff?  Because that’s what human beings do, and, lord knows, we have a lot to be creative about.   So why poetry?  Well, for no good reason.  I just like words, the jangling sounds and rhythm of words, the meanings we stretch between them.  I just do.

 

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About WCPLtn

The Williamson County Public Library System seeks to meet the recreational, educational, and information needs of county patrons through: a significant collection of digital and print materials housed at a network of countywide locations headquartered in Franklin; extensive personal computer and related technology; and diverse and interesting programs targeted to various age groups.

Posted on April 10, 2015, in Events, Hot Topics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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