Dr. Francis Christian’s poetry offers breadth and diversity to the intimate connection between art and health that is core to HARP’s mission. Through his writing he enters profoundly into the bodies and minds and souls of suffering humanity, juxtaposing unconditional love with moments of telling irony. His longer poems recount stories of sensuality and beauty, evoking biblical and classical images, and exploring humanity’s very origins, wanderings, and often hidden purpose.
Francis Christian is a poet and a surgeon — the former ever since his adolescence and throughout his adult life; the latter, an aspiration and a goal ever since he entered medical school. After completing his medical and surgical training in India and in England, he did further surgical training in Canada and is now Clinical Professor of Surgery in Saskatoon, a city in Western Canada.
Dr. Christian regards poetry and surgery as the right and left arms of his existence. He is the co-founder and director of the Surgical Humanities Program in the University of Saskatchewan. The program seeks to engage medical students, residents, and surgeons with the humanities in a way that enriches and informs their practice of medicine. He is also the editor of the Journal of The Surgical Humanities.
Francis Christian says of his poetry: “Such consequential and searing experiences as love and beauty in our universe, must have the thread of eternity running through them. A certain deep sensibility, like notes however faintly heard from an Angel’s harp, assures us that this is so. I hope my poems will awaken for the reader this precious sensibility, never far from us and always reminding us of that which we cannot yet clearly see.”