Tenderly Lift Me
Nurses Honored, Celebrated, and Remembered
Literature & Medicine
courtesy of our partner, Atlas Books
“I approached the study of historical and contemporary nurses with my sleeves rolled up, pencil sharpened, and camera loaded. What draws a person to those who are ill and keeps us at the bedside? Every question I asked the nurses, I asked myself. Heart first, I plunged into stories about historical nurses whose names I had never heard. Somehow, they chose me as the vehicle for retelling their remarkable story. As I conducted interview after interview, I found threads of sameness in the the lives of my nurses. In childhood, illness and often death was a member of their family. They had strong female role models in their homes. They were independent thinkers and firm decision makers who were not afraid of change and saying the truth about mistakes in their lives. They had spiritual convictions about a well-lived life and made no-never-mind to passing from this world to the next. I listened carefully. Tenderly Lift Me barely scratches the surface of who they are and what they have done for humanity.”—Jeanne Bryner
Those who teach the literature of medicine have questioned why there is a lack of rich materials that connects nursing and the humanities. Author and poet Jeanne Bryner has gathered biographical sketches of remarkable nurses, each accompanied by poetry and photographs, and has created the multigenre presentation that is the compassionate and complex Tenderly Lift Me.
This is the first book in the Literature and Medicine Series that concentrates on nurses’ voices and their experiences with providing health care. It enhances and extends perspectives on how health care is understood and delivered by recognizing nurses as the primary care givers.
Jeanne Bryner is a registered nurse. Her poems and stories have appeared in several magazines and journals, including Annals of Internal Medicine, American Journal of Nursing, International Journal of Arts Medicine, The Sun, and in the anthology Intensive Care. She is the author of the Wick Poetry Chapbook Breathless (The Kent State University Press, 1995).
Of related interest:
The Heart’s Truth: Essays on the Art of Nursing by Cortney Davis
The Poetry of Nursing edited by Judy Schaefer