Visiting Hours Are Over

Bloch, Chana

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Aull, Felice
  • Date of entry: Jan-26-1999


This 22-line poem lacking any punctuation is a breathless narration of an urgent need to escape from the hospital environment. The narrator runs past the bodies "crumpled on every bed" and "the lead apron / of hospital drapes" to emerge outside into the rain. She is immensely relieved to experience the cold wetness of the rain and to feel the pavement against her feet as she runs to her car.


This enormously effective rendering of the need to get away from illness and hospital surroundings addresses an issue that one does not often find articulated. Although the title indicates that the poem describes the reaction of a visitor to the hospital, a similar reaction can occur among professional caregivers.

Primary Source

Poetry, March, 1998

Place Published