I believe that Bob Dylan’s lyrics are poetry, plain and simple. He strings words together in an incredibly dense, evocative way. Putting them to music doesn’t overshadow the power of the words, either. It simply lends subtle, understated support to the effect they produce. Good folk music has that incredible ability to convey feeling without manipulating the listener’s emotions. It doesn’t tell you how to feel. It puts you in touch with what’s already in your soul, because it appeals to the things that we all have in common. Read more
Maybe I’m overly influenced by my own choices, but I can’t imagine a better way to prepare myself for the future than through education. While I’m drawn to the values of traditional academic institutions like the University of Cambridge, I’m not only referring to this type of education. Opportunities to study at institutions like these are few and far between, and are mostly offered to students who have had the chance to distinguish themselves in the past. Furthermore, significant financial resources are needed to take advantage of these opportunities. I’ll begin studying at one of these universities in the fall, but most of my more valuable educational experiences have, in the past, taken place outside of a traditional classroom.
For you will be invincibleand vulnerable in the same breathwhich is the breath of your patientsFor their breath is our breathing and our reasonFor the patient will know the answerand you will ask himask herFor the family may know the answerFor there may be no answer-John Stone, “Gaudeamus Igitur: A Valediction”
I first learned to interact with poetry as a college freshman. Because I tested out of calculus, I was automatically signed up for a literature class focusing on medicine. I have always loved to read, but I was terrified of a 300-level English class. I had absolutely no useful academic background in the subject, but I did my best to keep calm. The course, along with subsequent courses in the medical humanities, turned out to be one of the highlights of my undergraduate career. With the help of engaging content and a dedicated professor, I learned to read, write and think. Most importantly, I learned that the act of seeking understanding is as important as acquiring definitive knowledge. Read more
“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way?”
This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge really speaks to me. The prompt challenged bloggers to “share a photo inspired by a poem, verse, song lyric or story.” Photography and poetry go together like beauty and melancholy, like joy and sorrow. Opposites attract and complement one another, each bringing out the best in the other. Appreciation of these seemingly incongruous pairings is one of the biggest reasons I’m a fan of Romantic poetry, and John Keats in particular. His “Ode on Melancholy” is one of my favorite poems. It reminds me that life is full of deep sorrow and unbridled joy, but one cannot exist without the other, and neither one lasts indefinitely. Keats’ lines also suggest that beauty is, perhaps, best appreciated in a sudden fit of melancholy: Read more