Gwyneth Lewis

A Hospital Odyssey

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?A Hospital Odyssey is an outrageously imaginative voyage through illness and healing. Drawing on the most recent biomedical research into stem cells and cancer, the poem is a journey through the body's inner space and the strange habitats created by disease, including the chimeras people see when they're unwell. Maris, whose husband, Hardy, has been diagnosed with cancer, is separated from him. Her mythical journey leads though a surreal landscape, peopled by true and false physicians, god-celebrities, rabid statues, diseases hunting healthy bodies and a microbes holding their annual ball. The Otherworld is located in the hospital's basement. In her desperate search Maris meets and converses with Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS. Immensely readable, A Hospital Odyssey is a modern epic: Dr Who meets Paradise Lost. The poem asks: what is health? And what does it mean to care for someone who's ill? 'Such exuberant invention' The range of reference is so wide, we are intoxicated by it' – Elaine Feinstein, Independent.
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108 printed pages
Original publication
2015

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