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Critics and poets who talk about wit most often describe the eighteenth century, the decades of Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift and Oliver Goldsmith, of discursive, pointed, end-stopped couplets. “True wit is nature to advantage dressed; / What oft is thought but ne’er so well expressed,” as Pope concluded in “An Essay on Criticism” (1711). Eighteenth-century wit meant a way for superior, well-read equals to speak and write with one another, a means of communication that displayed humor, intelligence, and proportion, even calm; it could also mean indirection, double meanings, humorous ways to say or imply what a poet could not highlight or say outright, from a monarch’s indiscretions to the ridiculousness of an entire social system.
Bishop’s Florida, Brazil, and Nova Scotia poems have, over the years, accrued significant scholarly attention. This chapter turns to a less clearly delineated set of New York poems and argues that from her early years in the city as a recent graduate (1934–5) into the late 1960s and beyond, New York’s culture and environment exerted a pull on Bishop’s imagination and an influence on her aesthetic. We see this from early poems and drafts such as “Love Lies Sleeping” (1937) and “Varick Street” (1947) to much later ones including “Five Flights Up” (c.1973) which, although not necessarily written in or even explicitly about New York, is nevertheless inflected by her experience and memories of it.
The twenty-first-century poets and poems of the nearly Baroque want art that puts excess, invention, and ornament first. Some poets, such as Angie Estes, Robyn Schiff, and Lucie Brock-Broido have pursued a nearly Baroque aesthetic for almost the whole of their careers. Other recent exemplars include Nada Gordon, Ange Mlinko, Kiki Petrosino, Geoffrey Nutter, and Brenda Shaughnessy. Nearly Baroque contemporary poems exhibit elaborate syntax, and self-consciously elaborate sonic patterning, without adopting pre-modernist forms. The nearly Baroque is a femme aesthetic and defends traditionally feminine ideas of beauty and extravagance against the insistence on practicality, on political utility, on conceptual novelty, or on efficiency. At the same time these poets tend to note – they may sound guilty about – the serious effort and energy devoted to making such complicated, luxurious, or apparently useless things as contemporary literary poems. The most recent poets to work in the nearly Baroque idiom take increasing account of the actual bodies and bodily histories that do not fit well with conventional standards of prettiness, ornament, femininity, or beauty. Poets of color who foreground race have sometimes chosen not so much exactly the strategies described here but related ones, ones that benefit from the comparison.
Why comics? “All that it is Necessary to say … upon this subject, may be effected by affirming, what few persons will deny, that, of two descriptions, either of passions, manners, or characters, each of them equally well executed, the one in prose and the other in comics, the comics will be read a hundred times where the prose is read once.” That's not exactly what William Wordsworth wrote in his Preface to Lyrical Ballads, of course—he had “verse” where I have “comics” (112). Nor did Wordsworth say that the pleasure of seeing expressive, hand-drawn characters could produce
a complex feeling of delight, which is of the most important use in tempering the painful feeling always found intermingled with powerful descriptions of the deeper passions … while, in lighter compositions, the ease and gracefulness with which artists manage their lines are themselves confessedly a principal source of the gratification of the Reader.
In a simultaneous care model, patients have concurrent access to both cancer-directed therapies and palliative care. As oncologists play a critical role in determining the need/timing of referral to palliative care programs, their understanding of the service and ability to communicate this with patients is of paramount importance. Our study aimed to examine oncologists' perceptions of the supportive care program at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and to determine whether renaming “palliative care” to “supportive care” influenced communication regarding referrals.
This qualitative study used semi-directed interviews, and we analyzed data using grounded theory and qualitative methods.
We interviewed 17 oncologists. Supportive care was perceived as an important time-saving application, and symptom control, transitioning to end-of-life care, family counseling, and improving patients' ability to tolerate cancer therapies were cited as important functions. Although most claimed that early referrals to the service are preferable, oncologists identified several challenges, related to the timing and communication with patients regarding the referral, as well as with the supportive care team after the referral was made. Whereas oncologists stated that the name change had no impact on their referral patterns, the majority supported it, as they perceived their patients preferred it.
Significance of results:
Although the majority of oncologists favorably viewed supportive care, communication barriers were identified, which need further confirmation. Simultaneous care models that effectively incorporate palliative care with cancer treatments need further development.
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