– Materia poetica by Sylvia Seroussi Chatroux, MD (W. Esterson)

As a professional instructor of beginning-level homeopathy, I am always searching for new ways to enliven the study of materia medica. We are all aware that being a homeopathic student can be an overly cerebral, mind-numbing and, fun-killing endeavor. Students easily go into a state of overwhelm from the vast amount of information. Lou Klein has wisely reminded us, when speaking of case analyses, that when we get into that numb, overwhelmed, tuned-out state we are unable to prescribe effectively. Students are also unable to learn effectively under these conditions-it’s got to be alive and fun for quality learning to take place.
 Therefore, I was so delighted when Sylvia Chatroux, a good friend who is in her last year of study at Hahnemann College, let me know about her inspiration to write a book of poetry for her senior project. Her normal level of exuberance was even more intense as she described the love affair she was having with writing poems about remedies. She told me she literally could not stop herself from writing more and more of them and was considering publishing them as a book with the beautiful name “Materia Poetica”.
 I was even more delighted when the first batch of poetry arrived in the mail for my review. The poems are lively, fun, unpretentious, and full of humor-just like Sylvia.
 Many of the poems accurately cover major themes and keynotes of homeopathic remedies. I proved this to myself on several occasions by lecturing first on a remedy and then reading the poem afterward to the students as a light-hearted reinforcement of the information. “Bryonia” is an example:
 Other poems reflect more of a mood with less emphasis on information, such as “Anacardium”:
 The students I shared these poems with loved them and will be among the first to purchase the book when published. Sylvia’s poetry brought in that necessary sense of fun and vitality to our studies. I strongly recommended this book to anyone who loves poetry, materia medica, and/or teaching. Homeopathic students who would enjoy experiencing materia medica from a more artistic part of their brain will especially appreciate Sylvia’s contribution to our literature.
 The book will be published as a small hardcover book later this spring. Please call Sylvia at 1-877-POETICA (1-877-763-8422) or 541-482-7047 for purchasing information. The author is currently a student at the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy in Point Richmond, CA.
 The reviewer, Willa Esterson, is a graduate of Pacific Academy of Homeopathic Medicine and Jeremy Sherr’s Dynamis School. She now lives, practices and teaches in Santa Cruz and is founder of the Caduceus Institute of Classical Homeopathy.
 powerful enough to kill folks, they would not be powerful enough to cure sick folks.” -James Tyler  

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