Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Read the body poetically as it expresses itself

“A poetic response to disease may seem inadequate in the context of medical science, because science and art differ radically from the point of interpretation. Therefore, a poetic reading of the body as it expresses itself in illness calls for a new appreciation for the laws of imagination, in particular a willingness to let imagination keep moving into ever new and deeper insights.” — Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

Michelle Francl-Donnay, a professor of chemistry at Bryn Mawr College, blogs "Praying in/with pain" in which she mentions the new translation of the Mass and "The Body's Poetic of Illness" in Thomas Moore’s book Care of the Soul. She writes, “Moore notes that science demands a single reading of a phenomenon — we're pretty sure we know what's causing my myalgia, and it's self-limiting, so all will eventually be well — but that poetry acknowledges multiple layers of meaning. Why not seek multiple readings of the body's poetics when we are ill? Such an approach doesn't deny the physical causes and effects of a particular malady, but does give reality to its effects on the other aspects of our being.”