Showing 661 - 670 of 717 Poetry annotations

Recovery Room

Matthews, William

Last Updated: Mar-18-1996
Annotated by:
Nixon, Lois LaCivita

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The speaker in this poem provides a vivid portrayal of the recovery room experience from the perspective of an articulate patient. Where he had been warned about the room's brightness, he was unprepared for the keening woman in the adjacent bed and the "false and stark balm delivered to her crumpled ear" by the nurse. He and other "freshly filleted" and "drug-docile" visitors to this room wait in the anesthetized setting of otherness or in-between for release. The patient feels like a "diver serving time against the bends" or like one of eight piano keys parallely parked. While waiting for the return of sensation in his lower body, he imagines that he is like a "truculent champagne" loosening off "petulant bubbles," a few at a time.

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Deadwater

Bloch, Chana

Last Updated: Feb-15-1996
Annotated by:
Aull, Felice

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The "muck" stirred up in the deadwater of a murky lake is a metaphor for the stirring up of old hostilities between a mother and her now adult child. This subtle poem strikingly evokes the psychological history of a difficult family relationship and the precariousness of an adult truce, "a cloud of silt endlessly / raining itself out."

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Parish Doctor

Brown, Sterling

Last Updated: Dec-15-1995
Annotated by:
Squier, Harriet

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

An African-American physician from Louisiana provides care to patients whose ideas of traditional healing conflict with those of Western medicine. An observer describes how this Parish Doctor negotiates a compromise between his formal training and the beliefs and expectations of his patients. He accepts their black hens and claims to have "conjuh knowledge" while providing competent care.

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In the Land of the Body

Bloch, Chana

Last Updated: Nov-16-1995
Annotated by:
McEntyre, Marilyn

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poems (Sequence)

Summary:

Chana Bloch's series of eight cancer poems, collectively entitled “In the Land of the Body,” focuses on the experience of ovarian cancer, from diagnosis to surgery and beyond. The poems provide a loose narrative of illness and treatment, but each of them represents a slightly different approach to the inner life of illness. They are episodic; several evoke scenes--in the doctor's office before the X-ray machine, at home, watching her children color, in the hospital before surgery, and finally out of doors among the pines, released as “cured,” reveling in the qualified hope that they got it all.

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In Terror of Hospital Bills

Wright, James

Last Updated: Nov-08-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The speaker is poor, homeless, and desperate. The place is Minnesota, the season winter. He cries out, "I am a full-blooded Sioux Indian." He is about to go hungry and "to leap barefoot through gas-fire veils of shame . . . . " Yet, the man acknowledges, "my life was never so precious / To me as now." He will learn anything, do anything, be anything, for the sake of his precious "secret, / My life."

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Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

This poem is essentially a list of the splendid variety of shit in the world. It begins: "You'll rejoice at how many kinds of shit there are . . ." and continues the catalog for 45 lines, from gosling shit, through cricket and mandrell shit, ending with "the shit of the wasteful gallinule."

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Mother and Child

Axelrod, David

Last Updated: Jun-26-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

A man speaks to his six-months pregnant wife. He says she lures him "to our conjugal bed / to use each other gently . . . . " He imagines "eyes staring at me from / deep inside" that "say we are captured . . . . " He concludes "We are / too sure we need each other / to let go."

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Outlook

Booth, Philip

Last Updated: Jun-26-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The patient is lying on the table under an x-ray machine. He observes carefully the details of the machine above him--the three cables, the "crayon’s nose-cone," the traces of the electric tape that once bound the darker cable to the others. Now it is held by "serrated plastic ties." Everything is ready to "look into / whatever’s next, whatever it is I’m in for." What will appear on the film does not appear outside "under plain old sky," where it is "just beginning to snow."

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Burnout in the Overshoot

Ammons, A. R.

Last Updated: Jun-26-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

It is autumn. The "first cool spell" has come and made its changes, but life continues: "there's something besides // death and nothingness / even if winter is coming." You can never arrive at death. As you approach death, you diminish, so that in the end, "nothing is equal to nothing."

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Consent

Axelrod, David

Last Updated: Jun-26-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

An elderly woman is dying in the hospital. She still speaks to the poet's persona, "even near the end when she only screamed / at her children that they wanted her dead." Though she seems to want to continue living, when she lapses into a coma, her children make "the doctor stop all heroic measures." Thus, they kill her just like she said they would.

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