The Poetic Nursing Heart

Awaken, woke and internationally focused.


Awaken, woke and internationally focused.

I studied some of the poetry written by soldiers in World War 1 for “A” level English. I can still remember some of the lines; “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” (Wilfred Owen) and “there’s some corner of a foreign field, That is for ever England”(Rupert Brooke). These two poems in particular, had a deep impact on me. Yet after leaving school, poetry, as an expressive art form dropped of my radar. I attended Tom’s poetry symposium out of curiosity. Curiosity that was driven by wanting to see if I could be inspired and influenced, or perhaps re inspired and re influenced, by the power of prose as I once had been. I wanted to see what it could “now do for me” as a person in the here and now, as a practitioner and as a lecturer. Could revisiting poetry after all this time have the capability to do for me what it once could?

I entered the room, as an observer, unsure of what to expect. I guess there was a healthy scepticism and reserve. I didn’t want to reveal my hand or expose part of me that is both known and yet unknown to myself. The energy in the room was raw yet tender, sensitive yet resistant. Emotions that I had long since forgotten or perhaps purposefully buried were suddenly alive, real and yearning to be recognised and free. That for me was the realisation that “yes” poetry is important to me. It has the ability to heal, to nurture, to challenge and to sustain. Thanks to Tom and Poetic Nursing Heart, I have embarked on journey that will take me I know not where; yet it is one that I am willing to take.

Andrew Soutgate
School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work

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