Poetry

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In the Hospital

by Lionel E. Deimel

 

Hey diddle diddle,

You’re in the hospital,

And doctors don’t know what’s wrong.

But they’ll poke and measure and test and scan,

And soon make you healthy and strong.

 

Heart

 

Heart
Heart

 
My friend Jane Little was sent to the hospital two days ago because she was not feeling well and was having trouble standing up. This morning, a diagnosis has not yet been established. It is Valentine’s Day, however, and I wanted to bring her a gift and a poem.

This poem was written inside out. I began by looking for rhymes for “hospital.” The first thing that came to mind was from Mother Goose, “Hey diddle diddle.” This gave me the idea of using the nursery rhyme to supply the structure for the poem.

Having written the poem, I realized that other words might be used to rhyme with “hospital.” It seemed that abandoning the first line would remove the justification for the poem’s overall structure. Nevertheless, I took advantage of a coincidence and offered the following version of the poem to Jane:

Oh my, Jane Little,

You’re in the hospital,

And doctors don’t know what’s wrong.

But they’ll poke and measure and test and scan,

And soon make you healthy and strong.

— LED, 2/14/2011

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