The "Student"

Original Text: 
The Collected Poems of T. W. H. Crosland (London: Martin Secker, 1917): 51. PR 4518 C686A17
2Brown eyes and freckles and a cheerful grin,
3She saunters up the ward, and stricken sin
5She takes "her cases," looks for every "sign,"
6Hammers and sounds the portly and the thin,
7Plies them with questions till their cheap heads spin
9It's my turn now! Oh, let me bare my chest
10And spread a level sheet across my crib,
11And be as wax for our meticulous Miss;
12While she, poor dear, doing her anxious best,
14And wonders fiercely where my liver is.


1] minx: "A pert girl, hussy" (OED). Crosland wrote this poem during a long recovery in Charing Cross Hospital, London (W. Sorley Brown, The Life and Genius of T. W. H. Crosland [London: Cecil Palmer, 1928]: 255). Back to Line
4] repine: complain, make a fuss. Back to Line
8] Before x-rays, nurses and doctors would ask patients to repeat "ninety-nine" while palpating the chest area for vibrations that would show to what degree the lungs had been filled with fluid. (Barbara Bates, A Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking, 6th edn. [Lippincott, 1995]: 239, 247.) Back to Line
13] apex: cf. "In health the apex-beat is usually felt in the 5th left interspace" (OED, "apex," sb. 1, the example of 1877 under "apex-beat"). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Sonnets (London: John Richmond, 1912).
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: