In the Tranquillity of Delirium

In the Tranquillity of Delirium

Online Poetry Competition

We are currently accepting submissions for our Online Poetry Competition
– open to staff, students or graduates of any Scottish Medical School.
First prize £250, entry is free.

This poem is part of the Poems for doctors project. You can find out more about the project here.

Season 3 : poem 3

Out-of-hours GP Martin MacIntrye reads his poem  An Suaimhneas Bruaillein (In the Tranquillity of Delirium). Martin reads the poem in the original Gaelic. Both English and Gaelic captions are available on the video (click the CC button), and an English translation by Martin is also available below.

An Suaimhneas Bruaillein

Martin MacIntyre

’S ann ri ur seanair Dòmhnall Buachaille
a bha sibh a’ bruidhinn a-raoir
thuirt sibh rium.

Ann an aisling no an soillearachadh seòmair choimhich,
chomhairlich e dhuibh
eadar ceathramhan a chuid òran
gur ann car mar seo a bha i,
an t-slighe
eadar beatha is bàs
air uairean dorcha, ro dhorcha
aig àmannan eile gun dad ga dìth.

Bha sibh mar pheata dha
dh’inns e dhuibh
fear a dh’ fhalbhadh le cuman cùramach gu tobar ghinealach
fear a dh’fhadadh blàths à cruaich a chridhe
fear a dh’ èigheadh prìsean sa Bheurla air creutairean nach gabhadh creic
fear a chunntaiseadh na fàrdain chumhanga nam ficheadan:
notaichean mòra geala an Rìgh aig a’ bhodach fo leab’ a làithean.

Ach cha tug e freagairt idir
air coltas chùisean
an tùs an fhuarain?
an sùil nan lasraichean?
air an fhèill mhòir mhaireannaich
gun dròbhair no beathach no airgead no eagal?

Agus is math sin ’s dòcha,
gu h-àraid, tha grèim ur làimhe deise ag agairt,
seach nach do dh’fhaighneachd sibh dheth.

Translation

In the Tranquillity of Delirium

You were conversing last night
with your grandfather Dòmhnall Buachaille
you said to me.

In a dream or in the clarity of an alien ward,
he advised you
between verses of his songs
that it was a bit like this,
the journey
between life and death
sometimes dark, too dark
at other moments without imperfection.

You were like a pet for him
he told you,
someone who could run with a careful pail to the well of generations
someone who could kindle warmth from the stack of his heart
someone who could call prices in English for creatures that couldn’t be sold
someone who’d count tight farthings into piles:
the King’s large white notes under the old man’s bed of days.

But he didn’t give any kind of answer
about the look of things
at the source of the fount?
in the eye of the blaze?
at the great everlasting fayre
without drover or beast or money or fear?

And maybe that’s just as well,
especially, the grip in your right hand contends,
since you didn’t ask him.

Rights: by permission of the author

A moderated Facebook group hosts discussion for medics and others who would like to follow up on ideas arising from ‘Poems for Doctors’.

To ask to join, or add to the discussion if you are already a member, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/poemsfordoctors/

The Guest House

The Guest House

Online Poetry Competition

We are currently accepting submissions for our Online Poetry Competition
– open to staff, students or graduates of any Scottish Medical School.
First prize £250, entry is free.

This poem is part of the Poems for doctors project. You can find out more about the project here.

Season 3 : poem 2

Junior doctor Imogen Murray reads The Guest House by Jalaluddin Rumi translated by Coleman Barks.

The Guest House

Jalaluddin Rumi

Translated by Coleman Barks

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Rights: by permission of Penguin Books

A moderated Facebook group hosts discussion for medics and others who would like to follow up on ideas arising from ‘Poems for Doctors’.

To ask to join, or add to the discussion if you are already a member, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/poemsfordoctors/

The Door

The Door

Online Poetry Competition

We are currently accepting submissions for our Online Poetry Competition
– open to staff, students or graduates of any Scottish Medical School.
First prize £250, entry is free.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 31/1/2019

This poem is part of the Poems for doctors project. You can find out more about the project here.

Season 3 : poem 1

Medical student Ed Griffiths reads The Door by Miroslav Holub.

Tools of the Trade

Miroslav Holub

Go and open the door.
____Maybe outside there’s
____a tree, or a wood,
____a garden,
____or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
____Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
____Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye,
or the picture
____of a picture.

Go and open the door.
____If there’s a fog
____it will clear.

Go and open the door.
____Even if there’s only
____the darkness ticking,
____even if there’s only
____the hollow wind,
____even if
________nothing
____________is there,
go and open the door.

At least
there’ll be
a draught.

Rights: by permission of Bloodaxe Books

A moderated Facebook group hosts discussion for medics and others who would like to follow up on ideas arising from ‘Poems for Doctors’.

To ask to join, or add to the discussion if you are already a member, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/poemsfordoctors/

Season 3 coming soon!

Season 3 coming soon!

Thanks to Armin, Callum, Joanne, Rupert and Ed for adding to the readings I’m preparing for season 3 of Poems for Doctors last week – I hope the process was enjoyable! I’ll be busy editing soon, and I hope to be putting out some new readings in the next couple of weeks – watch this space!

In the meantime – why not think about entering our online poetry competition? Cash prizes and kudos!

Full details here – keep those entries coming!

Online Poetry Slam

Online Poetry Slam

‘Poems for doctors’ is delighted to invite students and staff at any of the Scottish Medical Schools to submit video readings of their poems to our first online competition.

We want to hear your poems about your experiences – happy, sad, tragic or hilarious – of human healthcare, medical research, or medical education. Experiences as a patient or a relative, or as a medical professional, or as a medical student. You don’t have to be a doctor to enter, as long as you are a student (or former student) or member of staff at one of the Scottish medical schools. Submit by filming or recording your reading, posting it on YouTube, Video, or Soundcloud, and completing an entry form with the web address and your details.

details and application

Poems for doctors‘ is a project which vlogs short seasons of readings of poems by medical professionals or students, from an anthology gifted to graduating doctors in Scotland. It is a collaboration between Scottish Poetry Library and the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews.

If you’d like to put up a poster or send one to a friend, that’s great!

Thank-you!
Here’s a pdf.

If you’d like to say something about the Slam in a talk you’re giving, that’s also great!

Thank-you!
Here’s a Powerpoint slide.

Season 1

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