A Review of Poetic Expressions in Nursing

Although I won’t be reviewing most of the poetry books I read in August for #thesealeychallenge, I have a review to share of a book that I read at the end of July. I know the poet from our experience as the mothers of children through international adoption, as well as being the mothers of musical theatre daughters.

Poetic Expressions in Nursing: Sharing the Caring, by Susan J. Farese MSN, RN, is from the perspective of a nurse who writes poetry to express her feelings and as a stress-reliever.

After her careers in military and civilian nursing, Susan is self-employed in the communications field. Susan has taught seminars encouraging nurses to use poetry as another form of communication. I relish this stanza for how it exemplifies the encouragement:

Brave and famous poets we need not be

but writing from the heart, that sets us free

Through poems we tell our stories

Share pain, grief, caring, glories

Regardless of our nursing specialty.

Susan’s poetry collection tells the family history stories of where her desire to be a nurse originated. In particular, the decline and death from Alzheimer’s of Grandma Ann, described in “Ann’s Zest Ends,” was very poignant. Another poem tells the tragic story of Grandpa Joe who died of an asthma attack in his own kitchen. These family reminiscences really spoke to me.

In many of her poems, Susan gives nurses a voice. Very often nurses are relegated to background status (to the doctors and the system), so Susan allows the reader to appreciate nurses and what they do for us. She also gives a voice to some patients who died too young. One of the themes that runs through some of the poems is that of intuition. She wants nurses to use their intuition and to value the intuition of patients or the family of patients.

The book has a bonus section of haikus paired with Susan’s beautiful photography. Susan has made haiku her own poetic specialty, but most of the book is in various forms of free verse. Susan creates forms that work best for each individual poem.

This collection, with its very accessible poems, would make a lovely gift for nurse or patient in your life.

Because I started #thesealeychallenge yesterday and am still going to vet visits and sorting things out for my sick kitties, Susan Farese will be acting as host for this  blog post. Here’s your chance to ask her any questions about her book or the “marriage” of nursing and writing.

Here are links to get in touch with Susan:

Website: https://sjfcommunications.com/

Blog link: https://sjfcommunications.com/buzz-worthy-blog/

Author page: https://sjfcommunications.com/shop/

Linktree link (more links, current interviews etc.): https://linktree.com/Sjfcommo


I will be posting my daily readings from #thesealeychallenge on Instagram at CATPOEMS and Twitter at WRITERSITETWEET.


Filed under #poetrycommunity, Book Review, Poetry book, Poetry Collection

22 responses to “A Review of Poetic Expressions in Nursing

  1. No questions for Susan, just deep appreciation. Good luck at the vets.

  2. Reblogged this on SJF Communications- 'Creative Ideas | Dynamic Results' and commented:
    Thank you so much, Luanne for your wonderful review of “Poetic Expressions in Nursing: Sharing the Caring”. I realized, that not only are we kindred spirits as international adoption (and musical theatre) moms, we are also cat moms!

  3. Wonderful, Luanne – loved this one on nurses. The too often unsung heroes of our illnesses.
    Also, you have inspired me to set a goal for August for my writings. I have lost my way of late but will look to the inspiration of poetry to guide me home.

  4. An excellent review of your book, Susan. Are you familiar with the field of Medical Humanities? It’s been growing by leaps in bounds in the last twenty years or so.

  5. Super review, Luanne. Nice to meet you, Susan. All the best to you.

  6. A lovely review, and a superb topic. I have such respect for nurses.

  7. Thank you John for your kind comments for Luanne and nice to meet you as well.

  8. An enticing review

  9. This is a wonderful review. And the unsung heroes, they need all the appreciation and more.

  10. Wonderful, Luanne! 🙂 I do hope the cats are doing better.

  11. Lovely review, Luanne. Good luck with the vet visits <3
    Nice to meet you, Susan. As Zeenat notes in her comment, nurses are unsung heroes. As a patient and the wife of a patient, I've had many interactions with nurses over the years. Long after the doctors and specialists have gone, the nurses are still there, making sure all is right. Thank you for your service as a nurse and for giving back to the field.

    • Many thanks for your kind words Marie and appreciation of nurses. The poetry in “Poetic Expressions in Nursing: Sharing the Caring” celebrates nurses for sure but also describes stresses, conflicts, joys etc. and aspects of nursing care.

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