Lyric in Healthcare

By Graham McCaffrey.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Lyric is a poetic form that offers a way of expressing moments of powerful human experience in concentrated form. As such, it has great potential for education and research for healthcare professionals who are likely to meet with people in extremes of physical, mental, and emotional pressure. Although narrative has been embraced in various ways in healthcare contexts, far less attention has been paid to lyric. Narrative has been advanced as a way for healthcare professionals to cultivate empathy through hearing and heeding others’ stories. Lyric has another, distinct value, in giving voice to pluralities of meaning, reflective of moments of crisis or sudden change in people’s lives. In this paper, I discuss potential applications of lyric expression in teaching and research in healthcare. Two poems are used as exemplars, one by the American poet Robert Hass, and another by a practicing physician, Monica Kidd.

Keywords: Health Care Research, Creativity and Arts-based Research, Knowledge for Practice

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 10, Issue 3, September, 2015, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 415.394KB).

Dr. Graham McCaffrey

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada