Poetry as the body’s immunity system

This is how poems help us live.

They match the meshes in the sieve

life puts us through…

—Seamus Heaney

Schonmaier Heaney.jpg

From the archives: Seamus Heaney signs his book for Eleonore Schönmaier.

Photo by R.B. MacLennan

Seamus Heaney in The Redress of Poetry  writes, “[Miroslav] Holub sees the function of drama, and so by extension the function of poetry and of the arts in general, as being analogous to that of the immunity system within the human body.”

During a “normal” flu season garlic-almond soup is a favourite household choice.  Garlic is of course superb for your immune system.  When you cook your ideal garlic dish read poetry in the pauses for a double immune system boost.


From Night After Night She Dreams


…You would see friends together

chopping vegetables. You would see her spooning

the garlic-almond broth. You would see a way


of life she could never have imagined…



From Wavelengths of Your Song (McGill-Queen’s University Press)












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