What may be most surprising in Perspective, which is a book full of surprises, is the amount of joy, laughter, last-minute insight, and utter honesty shown by the hospice patients so clearly and lovingly depicted here. Bob Jacob’s poems also praise the dedication of the nurses and others who make The Connecticut Hospice such a place of refuge. The book is a testament to the human spirit. Readers have been enthusiastic about the verse of a man who has dedicated himself to those most in need of what Jacob calls his loving words. Jean Valentine writes, “I admire Bob Jacob’s loving, tender voice valuing people close to death.” And Stephen Dunn has commented that the poems “reveal a man you’d like to know.”
Perspective has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
Bob Jacob began to read poetry to cancer support groups in the 1990’s.
In addition, he has made his large collection of poems available to churches,
chaplains, and individual cancer and MS patients. For seven years he has
been reading poetry as a hospice volunteer at The Connecticut Hospice
Hospital in Branford. He has also been a hospice volunteer at the Visiting
Nurses Association in East Hartford, and is at present a hospice volunteer
through the VNA at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, reading to home-bound
patients. In 2004 a short selection of Jacob’s hospice poems, “Upon
Their Quiet Altars,” was published. Like this full-length collection,
the earlier book appeared under the aegis of The Connecticut Hospice,
to which all proceeds of both books are being donated.
The Antrim House seminar room offers notes, ideas for discussion &
writing, images, and/or additional poems. Click here
to read the seminar offering for Perspective.
BOOK STATISTICS & ORDERING INFORMATION
WHEN IT’S TIME
Will you sing a song
THE COLOR PURPLE
She holds her wrinkled hands up
She says in a quiet, dispassionate voice,
Her hospital bed has been rolled
Almost immediately she spots
Her head is almost skeletal,
Some of the poems I read
Some poems I read more than once.
Let it come, as it will, and don’t
During the fourth reading
WALL OF LAUGHTER
Four adult daughters
“Look at them, they all look
Her daughters chuckle and giggle
“Oh Mom don’t be ridiculous.”
As I stop reading, her daughters
“See how pointy they are?
The laughter is so loud now
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