Create #6: These Are the Hands

By Arji Manuelpillai

Inspired by the brilliant poet and writer, Michael Rosen, and the series of poems he wrote celebrating the NHS, this activity gets us thinking about our hands and the stories they tell of our lives.

These are the Hands by Michael Rosen, written for the 60th anniversary of the NHS

These are the hands
That touch us first
Feel your head
Find the pulse
And make your bed.

These are the hands
That tap your back
Test the skin
Hold your arm
Wheel the bin
Change the bulb
Fix the drip
Pour the jug
Replace your hip.

These are the hands
That fill the bath
Mop the floor
Flick the switch
Soothe the sore
Burn the swabs
Give us a jab
Throw out sharps
Design the lab.

And these are the hands
That stop the leaks
Empty the pan
Wipe the pipes
Carry the can
Clamp the veins
Make the cast
Log the dose
And touch us last.

Activity Guide

Click the button to download this activity guide as a PDF. If you would like to receive one of our Activity Packs in the post, please email mdf@suffolkartlink.org.uk with your full name and address, including postcode.

Let’s think about your hands. What have your hands done over the years? What stories do they tell? What is the scariest thing you have done with your hands? The hardest thing you have done with your hands?

Activity

Here are six questions about your hands. You could either write down the answers to each question and make the poem in the way I suggest, or you can create your own poem in your own way.

  1. Think of something you have done with your hands during most days and write it down, e.g. these are the hands that brush my teeth or these are the hands that stretch each morning.

These are the hands that: –

  1. Think of something you have done with your hands that you are very proud of, e.g. these are the hands that held my new born baby or these are the hands that worked the mines for 25 years.

These are the hands that: –

  1. Think of something you do with your hands that makes you very happy, e.g. these are the hands that hug my daughter or these are the hands that warm in the Spring sunshine.

These are the hands that: –

  1. Think of something you have done with your hands that was extremely difficult, e.g. these are the hands that bid farewell to my dying dog or these are the hands that said set sail away from my family.

These are the hands that: –

  1. Think of something you have done with your hands that you are not proud of, e.g. these are the hands that pulled the trigger, a bullet to someone I never knew or these are the hands that wiped my mother’s tears away.

These are the hands that: –

  1. Think of something you want to do in the future, e.g. these are the hands that will lift my grandson or these are the hands that will pull the boat to shore.

These are the hands that: –

 

Now you can write these into your own poem. You are free to add or take away, you can change and switch the order, it really is up to you. The main thing is to HAVE FUN!

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