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22 Jun 2024

Elizabeth
Osmond

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Full Moon

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Jul 5th

Largo ma
non tanto

Jun 6th

After the middle movement of J S Bach’s

Concerto for Two Violins in D minor

Into the first F I put my inbox, weight equivalent to a baby elephant. Then come the semiquavers into which I put the pressure of increasing expectations. Into the trill on the B flat I load my frustrations that our funding will never allow us to meet them. As the dotted crotchet rests on the D, I consider how being wholehearted can make me lighter. I put the cross words flung at me into the E flat section, as it builds, I feel my tension release. The light staccato notes after the slurs carry long hours away from my family. During the D minor runs I reflect on the pressure junior doctors are under. Into the B natural and the G sharp, I pour grief. Into the final bars I put poetry. This beautiful double violin concerto is deep enough to hold all the thoughts and troubles in the world.

Behind the poem...

The beautiful middle movement – marked largo ma non tanto – of J S Bach’s so-called Double Violin Concerto (BWV 1043) inspired me to write this poem about how medicine and art shouldn’t be seen as two entirely separate fields. As a doctor of neonatology, I find listening to and playing music (as well as writing poetry) cathartic and therapeutic. For many doctors however, their pursuit of medical science often means their abandonment of art.

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