10/22/2010 12:47 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Debilitated Muse

"What happens when the poet faces illness? How is the poetry affected by alterations of the body and mind?"

Read Danielle's new article in the Journal of Medical Humanities. 

Here's the beginning:

"When I think about the definition of poetry, I have an image of the vast chaotic world being funneled through a narrow filter that is the poet. What comes out on the other side is an economy of observation about that chaos. Whether the critical essence of that filter is the mind of the poet, or the soul of the poet or the spleen of the poet is to some degree irrelevant, since none of these parts can function alone, and the sum total is that living, breathing body. It takes no great leap of logic to expect that assaults of any sort to that body would alter its output. It is in the details of this truism, however, that one might begin to mine the fascinating and perhaps intrinsic connections between “physicality” and creativity."

Read the full article in the Journal of Medical Humanities. 


Danielle Ofri is a writer and practicing internist at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. She is the editor-in-chief of the Bellevue Literary Review. Her newest book is Medicine in Translation: Journeys with my Patients.

View the YouTube book trailer.

You can follow Danielle on Twitter and Facebook, or visit her homepage.