Journal of Professional Nursing

The Poet as our Mentor 

Elizabeth Smythe, RGON, RM Tutor, Auckland Technical Institute  

Reference:  Smythe, E. (1987). The Poet as our Mentor. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 2(2), 3-7.


This is an essay about nursing.  This is an essay about what it is to be a nurse.  This is an essay that says nursing is about feeling, about feeling how the other person feels.  The nurse strives to find those feelings.  I believe the path she should take is the one that leads to poetry.  The poet e.e. cummings said:  “A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feeling through words.” (Trautman,1971, p.725).  To read a poem, to absorb a poem, is to capture a glimpse of the feelings of another.  It is through such glimpses that the nurse may better come to understand.   

Subscribe for full access to Nursing Praxis