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#HealthXPH: When was the last time you read a poem?

I was at yet another meeting (that could have been an email) when I started scrolling through my Twitter feed and stumbled upon #medhumchat by Colleen Farrell. They were discussing this poem. I was moved by the words so much that I posted it on Facebook so my radiologist friends could read it as well.

I made a mental note to attend the next #medhumchat. I’ve not been able to do so though as due to the time difference, it falls in the mornings when I am usually at work in Manila. So I’m doing the next best thing, bringing #medhumchat to #HealthXPH.

So for today’s #HealthXPH tweet chat 30 March 9 pm Manila time, we are discussing a poem!

I asked my friend Dr. Joti Tabula for a poem recommendation. It had to be in English but written by a Filipino poet. He sent me this one by Fidelito C. Cortes. Mr. Cortes was a Stegner fellow at Stanford University. His first book of poems, Waiting for the Exterminator (Manila: Kalikasan, 1989) received the National Book Award. His second book of poetry, Everyday Things was published in 2010 (UST Press).

So I had the poem … but I realized that unlike the usual #HealthXPH tweet chat, I didn’t quite know how to make the chat questions. So I crowdsourced the questions on my Facebook wall. Thanks Dr. Levy Jasul, Dr. Patricia Arinto and Dr. Helen Madamba for helping me!

Here are the chat questions:

T1. Which image in the poem did you find striking and why? What emotion did that image evoke for you? Reflect on how poetry differs from the “clinical” language physicians use when they converse with patients.

T2. Why do you think the poet felt that donating his organs meant living vicariously with the donee?

T3. How did the poem make you feel about organ donation?


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