The poetry of medicine
Jun 24, 2021
We explore the poetics of medicine and the medicine in poetry with poet-physician Patrick Clary, M.D.; Redwing Keyssar, RN; and Ira Byock, M.D. "Poetry holds a mirror up to us. It helps us understand what has just happened," says Clary.
We explore the poetry of medicine by offering two conversations. In the first, Dr. Ira Byock talks with Dr. Patrick Clary about his poetry, why he writes it, how he uses it, and why it matters.
"I don't see it as a medical practice so much as a humane practice for us as we do medicine; to maintain our way of looking at our patients as people."
—Dr. Patrick Clary in conversation with Dr. Ira Byock
Then host Seán Collins talks with palliative care clinician Redwing Keysaar about the poetry workshops she's been hosting online during the pandemic. What began as a way for people to process their grief has become a way to get in touch with un-tapped creativity and strengths.
"We forget so many of the healing modalities that are with us all the time and that have been part of the various cultures that many of us come from. Dr. Rachel Remen says, "We may have lost faith in our ability to write poems just as we have lost faith in our ability to heal. Recovering the poet strengthens the healer and sets free the unique song that's at the heart of each life."
—Redwing Keysaar, RN in conversation with Seán Collins
Patrick L Clary, M.D. has long used poetry as a tool in his effort to understand, practice, and teach
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