Whoever opens "The Time Capsule" in some imaginary future will discover a collection of beautiful and evocative poems--the editor's unabashed favorites--that show how abundantly we human animals are capable of intelligence, tenderness and love.
Ann Fisher-Worth, author of Carta Marina and Dream Cabinet,
co-editor of the Ecopoetry Anthology
Poetry is critical to our existence. Built into our basic instincts
is the impulse to turn to poems in times of need.
David Watts, M.D., from the Foreword
I am always on the lookout for anthologies that gather poems I could use in my practice. There are the excellent time-tested gold standards like Marilyn Sewell's Cries of the Spirit and The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart edited by the late James Hillman, Robert Bly and Michael Meade. Both of these appeared in the early nineties and I do not tire of them!
There are specific anthologies that serve beautifully such as Mosaic Moon: Caregiving Through Poetry, Easing the Burden of Alzheimer's Disease edited by Frances H. Kakugawa. It is a very moving book of gritty and compassionate poems written by people caring for loved ones. If I am working with medical students I can draw from Body Language: Poems of the Medical Training Experience, edited by Neeta Jain, Dagan Coppock and Stephanie Brown Clark. I have a few dozen anthologies on my shelf like this. These anthologies cover a wide range of needs and themes.
Now I have a new general anthology that I am going to call my favorite! Poems for the Time Capsule is collected by the estimable David Watts.
David, who is a fine poet himself, is also a beloved physician. I know him mainly as a convener of Writing the Medical Experience, which for many years was a gathering of physicians, nurses, health care folk and people who are or who were once patients--all of whom value the healing art of writing--and made both fun and meaning sharing that writing together in one space whether it was at Squaw Valley, Sarah Lawrence College or Dominican University.
David and his wife, Joan Baranow, are the primary force behind the PBS documentary Healing Words: Poetry & Medicine. But here we have David as the skilled and artful anthologist: literally, a flower gatherer!
Poets ranging from Ruth Stone to Robert Hayden, Alicia Ostriker to Diane Di Prima, Li Po to Pablo Neruda--in this book there is a poem to soothe and delight you after a long day or poems to soothe and delight someone who you care about and are intending to help.