Professor's poem dedicated to wife published in national journal | UToledo News

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Professor’s poem dedicated to wife published in national journal

Dr. Blair Grubb’s poem was printed on the inside back cover of the autumn issue of The Pharos of Alpha Omega Alpha. The illustration is by Jim M’Guinness.

Dr. Blair Grubb’s poem was printed on the inside back cover of the autumn issue of The Pharos of Alpha Omega Alpha. The illustration is by Jim M’Guinness.

Dr. Blair Grubb, professor of medicine and pediatrics as well as director of UT’s Electrophysiology Program, does not see the human heart as just a muscular organ responsible for pumping blood throughout the body. He also sees it as the seat of value and meaning for humans, the fount of our existential drive.

And with Grubb’s heart, this value, meaning and drive is directed at his wife, Barbara Straus, who he has passionately loved for 34 years.

“Barbara is an amazing woman: a mother, wife, pediatrician and community leader who has bravely battled brain cancer for the last two years,” Grubb said. “She has never once given into remorse or self-pity; rather, she lives each day to its fullest.”

To celebrate her and the strength she has exhibited in battling cancer, Grubb wrote a poem titled “The Gaze” about her and their relationship that was published in the autumn issue of The Pharos. The quarterly journal is published by Alpha Omega Alpha, a prestigious national medical honor society of which Grubb is a member.

Part of the poem reads, “Turning to me your eyes tell it all. A gaze that reaches to my heart’s core.”

Grubb

Grubb

“The Pharos publishes engaging and scholarly essays and poetry on a wide array of medical subjects, emphasizing the artistic, the literary, and the place of music, language and culture in medicine,” said Debbie Lancaster, managing editor of the publication.

“The poem is an attempt to put into words the deep feeling and admiration that I have for Barbara,” Grubb said. “It was very gratifying to have the poem accepted for publication. I have always admired the way that The Pharos tries to blend medicine and the humanities into a seamless whole.”

Physicians need to observe this mixture, Grubb said. “Medicine is not a science, but rather it is an art that uses science as one of its tools in the act of reducing human pain and suffering. To lose sight of medicine’s human aspects and origins is to risk depersonalizing people into mere things.”

In fact, Grubb thinks that medicine is “among the foremost of the humanities.” After all, he asked, “What other animal cares for its ill or wounded?”

Grubb indicated that he has been writing poetry and essays for some time, although he says he feels like he is just now learning about poetry. He said he composes his pieces by going “over and over the poem until I hit a point where I have to write it down.” He rarely makes changes to first drafts, which he writes with a fountain pen on paper.

“Nothing matches poetry in it compactness of thought and directness in expression,” he said. “It is the ultimate expression of the beauty of human language.”

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One response to “Professor’s poem dedicated to wife published in national journal”

  1. Marie Good says:

    Your poem is beautiful, Dr. Grubb. What a talented and loving heart you have. I began reading and writing poetry daily in April, 2009, and I am absolutely “addicted.” You obviously have a poet’s heart. Kudos also to The Pharos for their forward-thinking and insightful mission. – Marie Elena Good