Sleep Talker: Poems by a Doctor/Mother [NOOK Book]

Overview

Audrey Shafer observes the world with a quiet intensity, with a reverence for the everydayness of her children's toys, the earth outside her window, and the sacred trust of her sleeping patients. Her poems reflect the seamless back and forth of her woman's life, at one moment breathing for her patients, in the next choosing socks for her daughter

to wear. "Barking orders / I stick the tube in / silently curse, pray, sell my soul for the beat of a hidden heart," this ...

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Sleep Talker: Poems by a Doctor/Mother

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Overview

Audrey Shafer observes the world with a quiet intensity, with a reverence for the everydayness of her children's toys, the earth outside her window, and the sacred trust of her sleeping patients. Her poems reflect the seamless back and forth of her woman's life, at one moment breathing for her patients, in the next choosing socks for her daughter

to wear. "Barking orders / I stick the tube in / silently curse, pray, sell my soul for the beat of a hidden heart," this doctor/mother reminds us all of the fluidity of identity. Stunning, truly.

-Delese Wear, Ph.D., Editor, Journal of Medical Humanities

Audrey Shafer's poems demonstrate a unique blend of tenderness and steadiness that makes hers a recognizable and welcome voice among contemporary physician-poets. Her images are powerful and compelling. Consider, for example, "gardenias thick as lust" and the "gauze-choked winter sun." Her line is graceful, yet disciplined; her language imaginative, even transcendent, yet always grounded in "flesh, arm, artery, earlobe" and always aware of "the scrape of the key in the lock." Sleep Talker reveals that the most ordinary moment in life can also be "the glory and the answer."

-Jack Coulehan, M.D., Editor, Blood and Bone: Poems by Physicians

Audrey Shafer has, in abundant measure, all the requirements for the making of fine poems-a well-tuned eye, ear, and heart. A palpable sense of discovery is everywhere in her poetry, unique, contemplative, joyful, and wise.

-John Stone, M.D., poet and essayist, Where Water Begins: New Poems and Prose

In her first book of poems, anesthesiologist Audrey Shafer, M.D., boldly weaves her professional and personal worlds. These poems, some previously published in journals and anthologies, provide a glimpse of the daily life, including the worries, foibles and glories, of a working mother. The book, although divided into three sections, contains many poems that interconnect the three themes (home, work, and journeys) as a reflection of the impossibility of disconnecting facets of a lived life.

The first section, "that I call home", invokes the poet's childhood in Philadelphia, the death of her father, love and succor from family and friends, and the fierce and tender joys of motherhood. The love poem, "Home", written for her husband, is characteristic Shafer: the influence of medical and anatomical knowledge on her experience of the fragilities of love and life. Many poems, however, are far from solemn: "Socks" intertwines humor and maternal love and "Riff" is a self-deprecating romp into drumming taken up in midlife.

The second section, "not quite sleep", delves into the world of the doctor, and in particular, the anesthesiologist. This section may be of greatest interest to those in the fields of medical humanities and pedagogy. In poems such as "Center Stage" and "Anesthesia", the poet reflects on the nature of anesthesia and the profound gift of trust that her patients offer her. The widely anthologized poem, "Monday Morning", describes the intimate early morning hours of a doctor / mother.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781462843701
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
  • Publication date: 5/14/2001
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 265 KB

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 5
@i That I call home
Home 15
The Closet 17
Philadelphia, South of Lombard 18
Inscription 20
Loss 22
Infertility Work-up 23
Waiting 24
Telemachus 25
Nana 26
Gloria 27
Spring 28
Inside our walls 30
Socks 31
Seven-thirty A.M. 32
Domestic Life 33
The Canoe Trip 34
Facade 36
Reverberation 38
What Will Never Be 39
The Fiftieth 40
Fate 42
Riff 44
@ii Not quite sleep
Anesthesia 47
Oat Cell 48
Three Mothers 49
Monday Morning 50
Gurney Tears 52
Rhythm Strip 54
Closure 56
Cancellation 58
The Healthy Children 60
Center Stage 62
OR [right arrow] ICU c O[subscript 2] 64
Incompatibility 66
Reading Leaves 68
The Waiting Room 70
Oddities 72
Don't Start, Friend 74
Same Day Surgery 76
@iii Okay for re-entry
Return 81
The Hour of Alchemy 83
Dear God 84
Caesura 85
The Born Again Agnostic 86
Traveling North 88
Alaska Nocturne 90
The Woods 91
Challenger 92
On Seeing a Photography Exhibit by Sebastiao Salgado 94
Holocaust Museum, October, 1993 96
First Day in China 98
After Rain 100
Isaiah 6 102
Eden 3:20 103
Good Friday, 1999 104
Leaning In 105
Miracle Enough 108
Drawing the Line 110
About the Author 113
Advance Praise for Sleep Talker 115
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