Spring, summer, autumn, winter: four times a year Ruth Arnison distributes 8000 brightly-coloured cards to medical waiting rooms, hospices, rest homes and prisons throughout most of New Zealand. She is the founder and editor of the Dunedin-based charity Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ). But why place poetry in a waiting room? People hatee poetry, right? Wrong. The poetry cards have proved extremely popular. Arnison once received an email which sums up why: Although I am not a person who gravitates toward poetry, after I read the selection of poems, I noticed I had been given an oasis from anxiety and had been briefly removed from our present situation.
How can a poem—a few words strung together on a few lines—be an oasis? Ruth Arnison explains: [Read more…]