All of us, I think it’s fair to say, know we owe NHS healthworkers and carers a debt we can not only never repay, we can barely find the words to express the enormity of our thankfulness for the sacrifices they’ve made during the pandemic.
Perhaps, though, we can make a start by turning to poetry. So often in times of trouble we look for poems to express that sentiment which is just beyond the reach of everyday speech.
That’s why on Thursday 30 April the Scottish Poetry Library is launching #PoemsForCarers, which is a way for the public to use poetry to thank NHS staff and carers. We’ve tried to keep the idea as simple as possible.
To show support for carers, film yourself on your phone reading a poem or take a photo of a poem that in some way, directly or subtly, thanks healthcare workers or reflects on what their work has meant to you. It can be a classic or contemporary poem or it can be something written by yourself. After filming yourself or taking a photo, use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to upload the film or image, which you then tweet or post using the hashtag #PoemsForCarers, so carers can find them. And that’s it.
We’re calling the project #PoemsForCarers. We originally looked at #PoemsForNHS, but after talking to our contacts in healthcare, they suggested #PoemsForCarers would take in a wider variety of key workers whose job is protecting the vulnerable.
If you know our Tools of the Trade project, where we give a pocket-sized anthology to all newly graduated doctors in Scotland, you’ll know we have the majority of those poems on the website too.
Other websites that might be useful include
We hope you’ll be able to join us on Thursday 30 April and after that date using poetry to thank NHS healthworkers and carers.
Image: Bubba2000 – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Sheffield, UK by Tim Dennell, under a Creative Commons licence