“Of Medicines appropriated to the heart”

Jennifer Hernandez created “Of Medicines appropriated to the heart” from the Complete Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper (1653). Please click here to read.

About the poem and the process of composing it, Jennifer Hernandez writes:

I chose to focus on Chapter 3, “Of Medicines appropriated to the heart.” It seemed a suitable topic for poetry! First, I copied and pasted the chapter into a Word document to begin my initial process of skimming and circling words and phrases that caught my attention. As it turned out, nearly the entire text was circled. So I shifted gears and took out a pair of scissors. I cut out the words and phrases that I had circled and discarded the rest (largely connective words and phrases). After cutting the text apart, I gathered the strips of paper and placed them in an envelope to sit overnight and cleanse my mind of the original text. The next day I emptied the strips onto the table and put them in alphabetical order by the first word on each strip. Once arranged, I copied out the text in order, eliminating unnecessary words and phrases, but maintaining the order. Finally, I typed up my handwritten notes, again pruning what I had written. The end result is the poem that you see before you. I was quite pleased with the experiment and it was fun to make poetry in such a kinesthetic way.


Also by Jennifer Hernandez at Heron Tree: “Inductance,” which you can visit or revisit here.