HYMS Worth a Listen


To support the pop-up collection, ‘This is just to say…’ the links on this page will take you to recordings of poems, none are very long.

The Visitors

Elizabeth Bartlett



 Japanese Maple

Clive James


Ode on a Stethoscope

Paul Muldoon, The New Yorker’s Poetry editor, reads a selection of works from medical journals.


Poems for doctors

Poems for doctors is an online initiative using poetry to create opportunities for medics to recognise some of their own experiences in those of others.

The project is a collaboration between Scottish Poetry Library and the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews.  The project developed out of Tools of the Trade: Poems for new doctors, a small anthology of poems published by Scottish Poetry Library and distributed to graduating doctors. Poems for doctors builds on the book, using a blog to publish short seasons of readings of some of these poems.  Video readings are made by medical professionals or trainees who have chosen one poem for particular reasons or associations that they explain.

Medical Demonstrator Iuliana Kanya reads A Medical Education by Glenn Colquhoun

Clinical Teaching Fellow Dr Robert Humphreys reads These are the Hands by Michael Rosen

Junior Hospital Physician Dr Chris Lowe reads A brief format to be used when consulting with patients by Glenn Colquhoun

Deputy Head of the University of St Andrews School of Medicine Julie Struthers reads Nothing by Selima Hill

Love is in the air – Lecturer in Infectious Disease, Dr Winnie Dhaliwal reads Poem for a Hospital Wall by Diana Hendry

Prof David Crossman, Dean of Medicine at the University of St Andrews, and Chief Scientist for Scotland, reads Second Opinion by Douglas Dunn.

The Building

Philip Larkin

Spasticus Autisticus

Ian Dury

A perfect example of a paralysed larynx

Stephanie Northgate




Neil Hilborn

Why Medicine Needs Poetry

Danielle Ofri MD–physician, writer, and editor of the Bellevue Literary Review–discusses why poetry and literature are important to medicine.


Sylvia Plath

 Four Morbid Songs – an extract

Peter Goldsworthy



In the theatre

Dannie Abse



The Widow’s Lament in Springtime

William Carlos Williams