are we talking about poetry's existence, or ...?

More discussion? Did it happen? On 4 March the timesonline asked its readers: “ ‘Poetry’s very existence seems to provoke argument.’ More Poetry? Less poetry? You tell us, please.”

The answer next week was, apparently, "yes, please, more poetry", but then the article ended, curiously, with a description of something called ‘Poems in the Waiting Room’, thus:

“Certainly poems can give comfort; Jeanette Winterson has mentioned an initiative called 'Poems for the Waiting Room' which provides — free except for postage — poster poems for hospitals and doctors’ surgeries. No, poetry is no cure, but how can anything beautiful do harm? The latest set comes from many languages and I would rather read a poem than an ancient copy of Take A Break! Anne Adams tells us that poetry is 'an important part of therapy' at the Hospice of St Francis at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.”

Is it just me or does this seem a bit odd?

P.S. And why does the thing have to be called an initiative (well, of course, I know why, it's the speak I have to use as well, every *^@#ing day, but it's an easy word to mistype, apart from anything else ...). Exit left muttering darkly in a Luddish kind of way, vowing not to even touch on the 'therapy' isshew.


Anonymous said…
You do not have your facts right. Poems in the Waitng Room ( provides poetry cards for patients to read. It does not publish poetry posters, and certainly does not charge postage! The recent circulation totalled some 50,000 distributed throuh the United Kingdom.
Jill Jones said…
Thank you. However, if you read the post you would see that I was quoting an article, I was not claiming to have the facts. In other words, the facts the article quoted were not correct (apparently). I'm glad to have the correction but there's no point in shooting the messenger.

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