For my friends’ excellent history of medicine blog, Remedia, I crafted a series of Elizabethan sonnets about skin maladies. You can read these in three parts:

About Skinnets:

To get under the skin of the history of medieval European medicine—to understand this history through a different perspective to rational narrations of events—I’ve been writing sonnets about diseases, sufferers, and practitioners.

In fourteen lines, I try to animate historical understandings of health and illness, giving voice to concerns over the fragility of the body and, moreover, the soul that seems far removed at first from the world of modern hospitals and pharmaceuticals.

The logic of the medieval world still strikes me as alien. Morality often influences physics, and the goal of the game is not really to live at all, but to die with conviction before the eyes of God. But by focusing on affect instead of fact, I hope to create a different sort of roadmap for a visitor to this world than the one offered in a history book.