The Hairbag Poet: Ode to Nurses

Hi and welcome to my Friday series The Hairbag Poet.

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

Poetry Friday roundup can be found at my juicy little universe here 

You can read about the history of this series here.

Florence Nightingale ministering to soldiers at Scutari (Public Domain).

Over the past few months I have been readying myself for change. I finally finished grad school, earning my Master’s Degree in Nursing Education, and was offered a position to teach at a University not far from my home. Though I could not be happier about this new opportunity, I am also sad to be leaving my nurse friends in the PACU. I have been a bedside nurse for the past 30 years!  It has been an amazing career, and I have been lucky enough to have worked with some of the smartest, funniest, kindest, crudest, caring, and craziest people I know.

I’ve decided to write this weeks poem, as an ode to nurses, in dedication to all the wonderful nurses I have had the honor to work beside.

An ode is “A formal, often ceremonious lyric poem that addresses and often celebrates a person, place, thing, or idea” (Poetry foundation, 2019). There are several styles of writing odes including: The Greek or Pindaric ode, Horatian odes, Sapphic odes, and English Romantic odes.

The Pindaric or Greek ode (552-442 B.C.E. from the poet Pindar), was a public poem set to music celebrating athletic victories (Poetry foundation, 2019). These poems contain three stanza formats: strophe, antistrophe, and epode. “In Greek drama, the strophe (turning) signified the first section of a choral ode, and was recited by the Chorus as it moved across the stage. The Chorus’s movement back to its original side was accompanied by the antistrophe. Finally, the Chorus stood still to chant the epode, the final section of the ode, which used a new metrical structure” (Poetry foundation, 2019).

I could relate to the Pindaric ode, because a 12 hour nursing shift trumps any olympic race, and when it’s over you relish in the glory of the finish line.

Ode to Nurses

A coven of angels
led by lighted lantern,
through dark humor,
we gather,
acutely aware of the subtleties of
life and death.

Dusk turns to Dawn,
and Dawn to Dusk,
with no witness
but each other
to the graveness
of our charges.

On our darkest days
we go home silent
to our families,
sharing those moments
with each other.

Camaraderie shared over
coffee and cocktails,
Our wins and losses
scored in our hearts

Now it’s on to University…

I hope you enjoy these posts. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and please feel free to post your own poetry in the comments if you feel inspired by the photographs. I always love reading other peoples perspective on “art”.


The Hairbag Poet

12 thoughts on “The Hairbag Poet: Ode to Nurses

  1. Many congratulations on your next adventure. What a lovely reminder of what nurses carry on behalf of the rest of us. It’s such an important job–that includes bonding with workmates! I’m not a nurse but the daughter of one. I’m so glad for all of them!

    • Thank you Heidi. LOL I love the old Nursing Romance novels, especially the covers and titles, and no I don’t think I’ll have her troubles. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  2. Welcome to Poetry Friday! Love the ode — it could only be written from inside the profession. Nurses rock the world!

    • Thank you Mary. Ode’s are great, I had no idea about the olympic ode history. Nurses, IMHO, are modern day olympians. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  3. Lovely to meet you, Jean, & to read your wonderful tribute to nurses. There are many in my life I am grateful for, working so hard and caring along with it always.

  4. Great meeting you at PF, Jean. Congratulations to you on your degree and university post. Nurses are angels of hearing and your poem is a lovely tribute.

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