Writing Poems to make Sense of our Feelings
Since the inception of this website, many of you have described how expressive writing has helped you to understand your thoughts and feelings about nursing practice. Often as nurses, we encounter difficult times, which can make us question whether or not nursing is a profession we want to be part of. However poetry writing can help us to make sense of our how we feel and also promote a sense of empathy for others. Poems can act as ‘containers’ for our feelings which in turn supports us in experiencing these feelings at a more conscious level (Fox, 1995: xv). Being aware of our own emotions helps us to understand those of others in our care.
The following poem was written by one of our first year student nurses following an experience caring for a woman who had experienced a miscarriage. This experience had an emotional impact on our student and she wrote this poem as a way to reflect on her feelings:
The moment I found out you had left me
My heart began to sink,
You had been growing inside of me for months
Now it’s over in a blink.
I feel so all alone now
So empty and rotten inside,
I feel I’ve lost my dignity
I’ve choked upon my pride.
Was it something I did wrong?
Am I the one to blame?
Oh god please tell me
Do I deserve this shame?
How is it possible to love someone,
You have never met before?
Now I’ll never nurture
The one I truly adore.
These feelings of anger and jealousy
Make me feel rather ashamed,
When friends have big happy families
And my baby wasn’t even properly named.
I know you’re up in heaven now
With other angels whose wings were just too small,
I know you’re looking down on me
Ready to catch me when I fall.
Fox J (1995) Finding what you didn’t lose: Expressing your truth and creativity though poem making Jeremy Tarcher: Putnam New York
Dr Kirsten Jack, Senior Lecturer Adult Nursing