April 7, 2012

Poetry Heals

Poetry Heals is a program for New Jersey hospitals and healthcare workers across New Jersey to celebrate National Poetry Month in cooperation with the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and CavanKerry Press.

Poetry has been shown to be an important tool for healing—both for patients and for caregivers. This new program will support the efforts of hospitals statewide to include poetry in their healing practice and to create new opportunities for healthcare workers and others to experience the power of poetry.

Poetry Heals Workshops will be lead by poets from CavanKerry Press. These workshops will give healthcare workers the chance to create their own poetry as a means of healing themselves and to consider how poetry can be a way to understand the experiences of others. These workshops will take place at Cooper University Hospital, Camden; Morristown Medical Center, Morristown; Newton Medical Center, Newton; Overlook Hospital, Summit; and, UMDNJ, Newark.

These events are being offered as part of Literature and Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care ® a national award-winning reading and discussion program for health care professionals that, as one participant writes, “renews the heart and soul of health care.” Discussions have helped health care professionals across the country improve their communication and interpersonal skills while increasing their cultural awareness, empathy for patients, and job satisfaction.

Afterwards, you feel a loss
like an amputee the morning after the operation
or a newly declawed cat discovering with horror
it can no longer climb trees.
The loss is not all bad. You know, of course,
that you are whole, you try to count
your blessings on your body: ten fingers,
two eyes, also two legs
and a functioning set of organ systems.
As if this should console you!
You preoccupy yourself with it, trying
to restore what is gone...

from "Manic Depressive" - We Mad Climb Shaky Ladders by Pamela Spiro Wagner

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