Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Grooks: A Change of Pace

Grooks are poems of pith. Danish poet and scientist, Piet Hein (1905-1996), wrote 10,000 of them. Here are a baker’s dozen of his condensed gems.

1)Faith in Doctors

My faith in doctors is immense.
Just one thing spoils it;
their pretense of authorized

Comment: Better omnipotent, than impotent.

2) Ars Brevis

There is
one art,
no more,
no less:
to do
all things
with art-

Comment: Medicine is an Art as well as a Science.

3) Problems

Problems worthy
of attack
prove their worth
by hitting back.

Comment: Doctors have intractable problems, just like everyone else, including patients.

4) The Eternal Twins

Taking fun
as simply fun
and earnestness
in earnest
shows how thoroughly
thou know
of the two

Comment: At its best, medicine combines fun with doing good.

5) Consolidation Grook

Losing one glove
is certainly painful,
but nothing
compared to the pain,
of losing one,
throwing away the other,
and finding
the first one again.

Comment: A glove in the hand is worth two in the bush.

6) T. T. T.

Put up in a place
where it's easy to see
the cryptic admonishment
T. T. T.

When you feel how depressingly
slowly you climb,
it's well to remember that
Things Take Time.

Comment: No miracles among friends, please.

7) Naive

Naive you are
if you believe
life favors those
who aren't naive.

Comment: Better to have something up your sleeve.

8) An Ethical Grook

I see
and I hear
and I speak no evil;
I carry
no malice
within my breast;
yet quite without
a man to the Devil
one may be
to hope for the best.

Comment: Hope for the best, pray for the good, expect and prepare for the worst.

9) The Road to Wisdom

The road to wisdom? - Well, it's plain
and simple to express:
and err
and err again
but less
and less
and less.

Comment: Successful doctors err, but they always come back up for air.

10)A Psychological Tip

Whenever you're called on to make up your mind,
and you're hampered by not having any,
the best way to solve the dilemma, you'll find,
is simply by spinning a penny.
No - not so that chance shall decide the affair
while you're passively standing there moping;
but the moment the penny is up in the air,
you suddenly know what you're hoping.

Comment: Blink, and trust your gut.

11) A Word to the Wise

Let the world pass in its time-ridden race;
never get caught in its snare.
Remember, the only acceptable case
for being in any particular place
is having no business there.

Comment: In unfamiliar situations, learn anew.

12) Meeting the Eye

You'll probably find
that it suits your book
to be a bit cleverer
than you look.
Observe that the easiest
method by far
is to look a bit stupider
than you are.

Comment: There’s always more than meets the eye.

13) Living Is-

Living is
a thing you do
now or never -
which do you?

Comment: Do what you have to do. You may never have another chance.

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