Marsh Hawk Review is an online poetry journal sponsored by the Marsh Hawk Press collective. Marsh Hawk Review will appear twice a year, under the revolving editorship of collective members. Each issue will offer a selection of poems solicited by the editor, in addition to new work posted by poets in the collective.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Another 1 For My Father



And Their Connections in an Elementary Interwoven Intertextuality


The physician's high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed.1

1 His mission is not, however, to construct so-called systems, by interweaving empty speculations and hypotheses concerning the internal essential nature of the vital processes and the mode in which diseases originate in the interior of the organism, (whereon so many physicians have hitherto ambitiously wasted their talents and their time); nor is it to attempt to give countless explanations regarding the phenomena in diseases and their proximate cause (which must ever remain concealed), wrapped in unintelligible words and an inflated abstract mode of expression, which should sound very learned in order to astonish the ignorant - whilst sick humanity sighs in vain for aid. Of such learned reveries (to which the name of theoretic medicine is given, and for which special professorships are instituted) we have had quite enough, and it is now high time that all who call themselves physicians should at length cease to deceive suffering mankind with mere talk, and begin now, instead, for once to act, that is, really to help and to cure.

From Organon of Medicine by Samuel Hahnemann, 5th translated by Dudgeon; 6th Edition translated by Boericke. Online :

c.1300, "Church father," from O.Fr. doctour, from M.L. doctor "religious teacher, adviser, scholar," in classical L. "teacher," agent noun from docere "to show, teach, cause to know," originally "make to appear right," causative of decere "be seemly, fitting" (see decent). Meaning "holder of highest degree in university" is first found late 14c.; as is that of "medical professional" (replacing native leech (2)), though this was not common till late 16c. The transitional stage is exemplified in Chaucer’s Doctor of phesike (Latin physica came to be used extensively in M.L. for medicina). Similar usage of the equivalent of doctor is colloquial in most European languages: cf. It. dottore, Fr. docteur, Ger. doktor, Lith. daktaras, though these are typically not the main word in those languages for a medical healer. For similar evolution, cf. Skt. vaidya- “medical doctor,” lit. “one versed in science.” Ger. Arzt, Du. arts are from L.L. archiater, from Gk. arkhiatros “chief healer,” hence “court physician.” Fr. médecien is a back formation from médicine, replacing O.Fr. miege, from L. medicus.

1590s, "to confer a degree on," from doctor (n.). Meaning "to treat medically" is from 1712; sense of "alter, disguise, falsify" is from 1774. Related: Doctored; doctoring.

doctors must heal

poets must write poetry

writers must write stories

teachers must teach

carpenters must work wood

embroiders must embroider

politicians must do politics

salesmen must sell

models must exhibit fashion

whores must sell their bodies

pimps must market prostitutes

doctors must heal

plumbers must fix pipes

construction workers must work with bricks

priests must preach

drivers must drive

sailors must sail

rapists must rape

doctors must heal

liars must tell fibs to save themselves

fishermen must fish

hunters must hunt

farmers must grow vegetables

breeders must breed animals

typists must type

freight movers must move freight

machine operators must operate machines

skiers must ski

boxers must box

doctors must heal

fuckers must fuck

guards must guard

journalists must report

mathematicians must do mathematics

translators must translate

musicians must play music

critics must review

flimmakers must make films

playwrights must write plays

actors must act

wankers must wank

doctors must heal

killers must kill

thieves must steal

watchmen must watch

policemen must prevent & detect crimes

god must be

lawyers must know the law

doctors must heal

cotton pickers must pick cotton

soldiers must fight

cooks must cook

waiters must wait on tables

cleaners must clean

secretaries must do secretarial jobs

insurers must insure

knitters must knit

saints must do miracles

walkers must walk

electricians must work with electricity

physicists must know physics

painters must paint

wine producers must produce wine

iron workers must work with iron

miners must mine

murderers must murder

doctors must heal

torturers must torture

spies must spy

detectives must detect

investigators must investigate

mothers must make children

fathers must father

factory workers must work in a factory

generals must lead an army

angels must protect

shepherds must pasture sheep

informers must denounce those

doctors who do not heal

doctors must heal

beasts must be beasts

weight lifters must lift weights

book-binders must bind books

snowmen must freeze & then melt

butchers must kill animals and cut up meat

doctors must heal

witches must do evil deeds

devils must rule those who must suffer in eternity

the present poem is dedicated to several of the doctors I have unluckily and recently met following my father’s ischemic stroke that seized him on July 16, 2010. He was first taken to the Ospedale di Santa Chiara in Trento, department of Medicina 1, doctors Susanna Cozzio and Doctor Dimitri Peterlana, Head of Ward Dr. Paolo Dalrì from July 16 to August 4; then to Villa Rosa, Pergine Valsugana (TN) under Dr. Marco Degasperi, Head Dr. Nunzia Mazzini, from August 4 to September 27; and finally back to the previous hospital again: Ospedale di Santa Chiara in Trento, department of Medicina 1, doctors Susanna Cozzio and Doctor Dimitri Peterlana, Head of Ward Dr. Paolo Dalrì. On October 13, 2010 he was sent back home to rot in a bed and to date he has been rotting for exactly two months and twelve days.

p.s.: Doctor Susanna Cozzio is the sister-in-law of my sister.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

Bolzano, Italy

© Anny Ballardini

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