Showing 2781 - 2790 of 2791 Literature annotations
Summary:An elderly, demented Dr. Cahn ("his mind had slipped its moorings years ago") is taken by his son to the hospital to visit Dr. Cahn's wife who is dying of cancer. They hold hands. She is touched and pleased that he has come, but sad at his inattention as his mind wanders. In the taxi on the way home, Dr. Cahn asks, "Are we home?"
Summary:The narrator describes the stages undergone by a person who has experienced great pain and suffering: numbness, loss of the sense of time, the great weight of depression, and finally a poetic comparison to the experience of freezing to death: "First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go--."
Summary:A biologist stays up late into the night studying specimens under a microscope. As he studies, he imagines in the cells' beauty, wondrous mechanisms, and even compares cell division to the agony of birth. When he finishes his work, he encounters his wife and baby "waiting up for [him]" and expresses the same scientific appreciation for these human relationships.
Summary:The narrator is a physician who has just saved an elderly woman from a "natural death" only to lead her to an "ungraceful one" as her life is maintained and monitored by machines. Images of a distant farm are conjured as the doctor wishes instead for his patient's spirit to rest peacefully at home.
Summary:A physician caring for a failing patient feels that he can do no more for him than "check / Your tubes, feel your pulse, listen / to your heartbeat." He wishes a swift deliverance for this patient, and would like lovingly to transform him into a compilation of facts within a medical chart: "Let me lift you in my arms / And lay you down / In the cradle of a clean manila folder."
Summary:The poem begins by describing many things that love cannot do, including its inability to heal. The poet observes, however, that many have died "for lack of love alone"; and considers whether, in moments of suffering, she would trade love (which keeps the individual alive) for peace/release.
This poem describes the perceptions of a patient upon being released from the hospital following surgery. Although she states that "it is ridiculous / standing here on one foot," there is much excitement and wonder in her outlook: "each step / newness pierces the heart."
Summary:This poem contemplates the fast pace of 20th century (modern) life, where people are described as "hastening through the world." Yet, despite their haste, people are, in another reality, "just sitting still" in a stream of time, leaving behind trails of the past. The physical perceptions of riding in a fast car evoke the abstract concepts of time and destiny.
Summary:A medical student studying biochemistry is awed by man's linkage to apes and the research demonstrating the structure of hemoglobin. Scientific principles take on a personalized, life-like significance which he believes is described appropriately only in poetry.
Summary:A patient suffers a mysterious eye ailment that baffles the doctors. Yet suddenly, the affliction resolves, and the patient describes the simple joys of tears and what they symbolize. The mood is shattered as the patient discovers that despite all the "mercy' that tears bring, they can also be deadly, as an "AIDS-related virus" is discovered in tears.