Poetry in the Waiting Room


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.


I’ve never heard of this before, what a creative alternative to Hello magazine. Will you be submitting?

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    Yes I think I will Nicola. Now I know the submission criteria and the type of poems they are looking for I may try my hand at a couple. Thanks for taking time out to read and comment.


a wonderful idea Davy, thanks for sharing with us

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Interesting. I picked one of these up myself at my doctor’s surgery a few weeks ago. Thanks for reminding me, Davy, & for the link, which I shall investigate.

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Like Nicola, I’ve never heard of this before. But, I’m so impressed that poets are offering a diversion from fear or anxious waiting through their artistry. I hope the practice grows. Thank you for sharing this…

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Very interesting…and I’m not found of the doctor’s myself ha ha

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This is wonderful…i haven’t of anything like this yet in our place..though i am thinking…it can be done here too..

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    There is a piece on the charity website Mich that says it has been used in countries other than the UK. I’m sure your local doctors would love it. Thank you for taking time out to read and comment 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

This is an awesome idea. I will be looking into it. The best type of work for me is something that can help others.

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Interesting post. Who knew? Will keep eye out for something similar here.

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I didn’t know about this initiative, thanks for sharing! Next time I visit my doctor I will look out for the cards… and perhaps I will submit a few poems myself 😉

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    Thank you. I think the charity website has a list of surgeries they send the poems out to. If yours doesn’t have any I think there is a process to try and get some. Best of luck with the submissions 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

I never heard of this, what a wonderful idea! I know I would enjoy reading poetry at the Doctor’s as a nice distraction.

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Davy, thanks for leading all of us to another new and interesting means of getting poetry exposed to the public. In a time and place where poetry can be most helpful i.e. Doctor’s Office. Love it that you are our “Daniel Boone” out there finding new paths for us to follow.
Keep up the great work!!!

Liked by 1 person

What a wonderful program! I love going to the doctor so much that I haven’t been in……let’s see, oh gosh, six years. Maybe if they had poems in the waiting room, I’d go more often! Thanks for this, Davy.

Liked by 1 person

First, I hope you’re in the best of health, Davy–and then, I really love this idea; what a concept, that poetry might be healing or therapeutic–and available to patients who are at least uneasy, if not quite fearful. Bravo!

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What a great idea. They should extend it to Dentists, might take my mind off what is my most disliked experience.

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