In honor of the late American physician-poet for whom NEOMED’s annual William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition is named, here’s a contest entry from the 32nd year of the contest. The author wrote it to honor one of Williams’ best-known poems, “The Red Wheelbarrow.”
The William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition awards ceremony will be held at noon Friday, April 21 in Watanakunakorn Auditorium. Contact Ann Williams (no relation to the poet!), firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions.
After THE RED WHEELBARROW
You’ve gotta elevate the foot at or above heart level
If all else fails
because love is a metaphor that infuses the crosshairs of mortal history
and in the back of the rig, first aid sways treacherously
Push you say
You, peering between
glistening crests of sweat
Ashlyn Morse is a lover of both language and medicine. In 2012, she received her Master’s Degree in creative writing from California State University, Northridge, intercalating poetry and science courses. For Ashlyn, poetry has always been the perfect looking glass for a closer examination of that mind-bending crossroads where art collides with medicine. Language has the power to transform medicine — to make a patient feel safe, to provide the doctor with a sense of greater duty, to spread the joy of success, and to prepare us for anything. Inspired by doctor-poets and writers like William Carlos Williams and Atul Gawande, Ashlyn has come to find that a doctor-writer’s job is to not only inspect, but to share her findings with the world.
Ashlyn is a first year medical student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
--Reprinted from William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition 32nd year banner