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Inaugural 2010 International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine: NHS 1st Prize

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it's about a man

it's about a man who healed the sick

(as far as he was able)

and this is the man who begged for penicillin

to cure a child

(as far as he was able)

it's about a man who burnt Fleming's letter

when the answer came back, None to Spare

and it's about a man who spoke at the funeral

(as far as he was able)

and this is the man who seven decades later

still remembers the date on the letter he wrote

it's about a man who waits in his chair

for a nurse to bring him whisky and water

this is the man who drinks the New Year in

although it's a man who can no longer hear

who peers out of his frame

(as far as he is able)

who thinks his own thoughts

it's about a man who comforted others

death is inevitable, comes to us all

it's about a man who is showered daily

and now understands

(as far as he is able)

–Wendy French, London

©The author

Footnotes

  • Linked articles 114181, 114199, 114207, 114215, 114173.

  • Funding Supported by the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, the Warwick Institute of Advanced Study and the Wellcome Trust.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.

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