Celebrating RA Poetry and Community Creativity

  • Welcome to April, National Poetry Month.  Since 1996, the Academy of American Poets has celebrated the legacy and achievement of American poets, introduced Americans to the joys of reading poetry, and made poetry an important part of school curriculum.



    On HealthCentral, we will celebrate the talents of our own RA community and create a place to share our thoughts, our words, our poems throughout the month of April.  To get us started, I created a poem which features a side of rheumatoid arthritis. 


    by lisa emrich


    rain beats down on the windowsill
    heat rises from the concrete
    early morning stretches
    undo glitches in
    my toes,
    time stalls,
    outside children play
    in the sun rays and laugh while
    dawn drips down their faces and smiles


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    a gasp
    rings out while
    tangles twist about
    hands, knees click and clack,
    ravished joints mostly seek solace
    in the comfort of heat
    teasing light
    i love the



    In looking for inspiration, I took the word “rheumatoid arthritis” and created this acrostic poem.  An acrostic poem is one in which the first letter of each line creates a word when read vertically.  Try your own and place in it in the comments section below.


    Another type of poem would be the Haiku.  An English Haiku is comprised of three lines, each having 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables respectively.  Haikus can be presented together as one longer poem.


    by lisa emrich


    once upon a time
    my fingers were grotesque claws
    my hands were useless


    my rheumy listened
    prescribed chemotherapy
    drugs to kill B-cells


    now I play with heart
    chopin mozart beethoven
    all lovely music


    RA took my hands
    once, but now I control them
    bless the drugs which work


    if toes get tangled
    it's time to call my doctor
    no more B-cells please 


    What would you say to your disease or about your disease in 17 syllables?  Post yours Haikus in the comments section. Let’s have some fun during National Poetry Month.  I look forward to seeing how creative our community can be.


    Lisa Emrich is author of the blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers.

Published On: April 02, 2012