Earlier this week I was sat in the waiting room at my local doctor’s surgery when on a table, amongst the magazines, I saw several cards with the heading, Poems in the Waiting Room.
The cards contained a short collection of poetry designed for patients to read, while waiting to see their doctor. They were offered free of charge, with patients able to take the cards with them when finished at the surgery.
What a great way to use and promote poetry. I read the poems and, for a while, forgot about my aversion to anything in a white coat.
The Poems in the Waiting Room initiative is run by a small charity, based in the UK, and its purpose is to use poetry as part of providing a healing environment. Their website contains comments from patients, doctors and surgery staff as to the benefits of having poetry in waiting rooms, as well as links to research and other organisations who support the programme. They also accept submissions from poets.
If you want to know more about the charity, links to research around the subject, or would like to submit poetry for their publications, have a look at their website at www.poemsinthewaitingroom.org
Do you know of any similar initiatives where you are? It would be good to find out about them.