Midwife and Other Poems on Caring

Krysl, Marilyn

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Collection (Poems)

Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack
  • Date of entry: Jun-08-1997


Several of these poems deal with pregnancy and childbirth. “The Womb Is the Body's Most Powerful Muscle” celebrates a woman's knowledge of her own body just before she gives birth. In “The Birthing Room” Krysl describes the pulse and atmosphere of a midwife-attended birth. “Midwife” is an ecstatic poem about the power and “connection” of midwifery. Other poems in this collection take an ironic, comic view of the human condition (“Feet,” “Skin”), or reflect on issues of human dignity in the health care setting (“Quadriplegic: the Bath,” “Burn Patient”).


This short book of poems grew out of the year (1987-1988) Marilyn Krysl spent as artist-in-residence at the Center for Human Caring of the Univ. of Colorado School of Nursing. The Center commissioned her to reflect and write about day-to-day experiences of nurses and nursing students, and their relationships with patients.

In the introduction Jean Watson writes that Marilyn Krysl's poetry is "a voice by which we can capture caring moments of being" and "sing a hymn . . . in a language which allows us to detach ourselves from the harsh world of institutions . . . . ” The book may be obtained from the National League for Nursing (Publ. 21-2286), 10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019.


National League for Nursing

Place Published

New York



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