Poems about Doctors and Patients

 

 

 

 

 

Order Description

 

Read the poems and answer the questions for each. Upload the answer to this assignment.

Dannie Abse, “Case History” On Doctoring, pg 193, Online Text

1. How does the speaker use antonomasia to describe his impression of the patient?

2. The first three lines of the 4th stanza is a list, a short cataloging. What is the implication of the list?

3. The poem sets up a premise in the first four stanzas and hints at a resolution. Then the last two lines of the 4th stanza reverse it. What effect does this have on the theme? What do those last
two lines mean in the context of the previous lines?

4. What is your interpretation of the last stanza? Does it contradict the previous meaning of the fourth stanza?

 

Mary Oliver, “University Hospital, Boston” On Doctoring, pg 277, Online Text

5. While describing the hospital, the speaker repeatedly refers to a “you”. Who is the “you”? What clues help you determine this?

6. The first stanza starts with a comparison of two parts of the hospital. What are they? What is the effect of comparing these two?

7. In the third stanza, the speaker imagines a scene from the hospital’s history. What is it? How does this add to the image of the hospital?

8. What is the scene described in the final stanza that begins with the line, “Later, walking the corridors down to the street,”?

9. Is this poem only about the hospital? What is another theme?

 

Raymond Carver, “What the Doctor Said” pg 302

 

10. The poem starts with a conversation which is pretty realistic. A doctor informing the patient (the speaker) about his illness. At line 7, there is a brief shift away from the conversation and
the speaker describes a religous experience. How can we tell this is not what the doctor actually said?

11. How does this present the image the speaker has of religion?

12. The speaker responds to the “are you a religious man” with “not yet but I intend to start today”. What does this tell us about the speaker?

13. The doctor responds, “I’m sorry”. Is he referring to the diagnosis or the answer to his previous question? Could it be both?

14. The speakers final direct response to the doctor is “Amen”, an agreement to a religious assertion. How is this reinforcing the image of religion the speaker has?

15. In line 21, the speaker describes the doctor as “the man who’d just given me / something no one else on earth had ever given me”. What did he give him?

16. Notice the lack of punctuation. What effect does this have on the poem?

 

Rafael Campo, “El Curandero” pg 398

El Curandero is Native American healer or shaman. In this poem, the healer is both the speaker and St Rafael who the speaker prays to.

17. Summarize the poem in a few sentences.

18. He contrasts two scenes of healing. Briefly describe them.

19. How does the saint heal the healer?

 

Overview:

20. Briefly describe the images of the doctors in each of the poems