Edorium Journal of

Anatomy and Embryology

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Review Article
Anatomy and modern western poetry
H. A. Balcioglu1, S. Senlen Guvenc2
1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Dentistry, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.
2Department of English Language and Literature, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey.

Article ID: 100012A04HB2016

Address correspondence to:
Huseyin Avni Balcioglu
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Dentistry,
Istanbul University, Istanbul

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How to cite this article
Balcioglu HA, Senlen Guvenc S. Anatomy and modern western poetry. Edorium J Anat Embryo 2016;3:28–33.

The aim of this paper was to illustrate the connection between 'anatomy', one of the oldest natural sciences, and 'poetry', the most ancient genre of literature. Anatomy and related concepts have been a subject of and used as imagery in poetry since ancient times, but they have never carried such vast and multiple shades of meaning as in the 19th and 20th centuries. There are not only more allusions made to anatomy in modern verse, but also more poets have chosen to dwell upon anatomy, anatomists, dissections and cadavers as a main subject or persona in their poetry. In this respect, the use of anatomy and related concepts as subject and as imagery is examined in selected examples of 19th and 20th centuries Western verse composed by William Wordsworth, Thomas Hood, Charles Baudelaire, Emily Dickinson, Gottfried Benn, Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath and Nadine Sabra Meyer in order to show how anatomy has been perceived and represented by poets.

Keywords: Poetry, Anatomy, Literature, Cadaver, Medical humanities

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Author Contributions
H. A. Balcioglu – Substantial contributions to conception and design, Acquisition of data, Analysis and interpretation of data, Drafting the article, Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be published
S. Senlen Guvenc – Analysis and interpretation of data, Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be published
Guarantor of submission
The corresponding author is the guarantor of submission.
Source of support
Conflict of interest
Authors declare no conflict of interest.
© 2016 H. A. Balcioglu et al. This article is distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided the original author(s) and original publisher are properly credited. Please see the copyright policy on the journal website for more information.

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