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The Poetry of Compassion

By Patrick C Pietroni



Compassion, a middle-English derivation from the Latin compati (to suffer with), has in our confusing and tumultuous times become a major academic discipline. Professor Patrick Pietroni brings together his work as the director of the Darwin International Institute for the Study of Compassion and his love of poetry to outline how the concept of compassion can emerge as a force for good in our conflicted world.

When examining compassion from a religious perspective, one finds that all of the major world religions and humanistic organizations find compassion among the highest human virtues, and that they describe this aspect of the human species in remarkably similar ways, which we now recognize throughout the world as the Golden Rule.

This slender volume offers the reader a poetic entrance into or reintroduction to the recognition and practice of compassion on all levels: to humans, to the largest or smallest of the animal kingdom, and to our beloved Earth. The poets collected here include Warsan Shire, William Wordsworth, Mary Oliver, Stanley Cooper, and Maya Angelou, among others.

Subjects: PoetryPhilosophy

Contributor Bios
Professor Patrick Pietroni, DSc (Hon), FRCP, FRCGP, MFPH, lives in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK—the birthplace of Charles Darwin—as well as in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he is currently the director of the Centre for the Study of Compassion at the University of New Mexico. Pietroni has published several books and numerous academic articles. He was the founder and editor of the Journal of Interprofessional Care, the International Journal of Cuban Studies, and the Journal of Psychological Therapies in Primary Care.