Our best wishes to Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen is recovering from suspected covid-19.

We at JVL – and everyone we know, everywhere – join in sending him our warm thoughts and best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

One of the brightest and the best. A socialist and a mensch.

This poem, written for the 60th anniversary of the NHS has become a classic. It was read by BBC presenter Sophie Raworth on the Today programme on 2nd April.

It  is published in These Are The Hands: Poems from the Heart of the NHS. All proceeds from the book will go to the NHS Charities Covid Appeal.


These are the hands

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.

© Michael Rosen


Comments (19)

  • John Leonard says:

    So pleased you are on the mend Michael. We need people like you. Your poem ‘These are the hands’ is lovely and so apt in today’s crisis with our NHS just as ‘your hands are needed’ to defend our NHS. All the best.

  • Gaynor Holmes says:

    Sending big hugs over the net.
    Get well soon.

  • Glad u are pulling thru this Michael. We are all thinking of you. You will also be pleased to know that in New Zealand the Teddy Bear hunt has really taken off, and every house has one in the window!

  • Graeme Atkinson says:

    Get well quickly, Michael. We are all missing you. Even your short absence is a blow. The struggle against the right-wing – with their fake left and “anti-racist” allies – and their disgusting witch-hunting plots and shenanigans needs your insight and political wisdom more than ever.

  • Peter Gates says:

    You can teach them and, you know, keep knocking them out.

  • Normal Cohen says:

    A wonderful poem and so glad you have pulled through, Mike. It was the NHS and your poetry what did it. Love and solidarity, Norma Cohen

  • Claudia says:

    Wishing you a speedy and full recovery Michael. Beautiful poem. Very best wishes and thank you, Claudia

  • RH says:

    Much has angered me – as all here – about the ‘antisemitism’ myths.

    But the insult to the patent common humanity of Michael Rosen has been up there with the worst offenses.

    Very best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • n wheeler says:

    Best wishes for Michael’s recovery

  • Felicity Arbuthnot says:

    Wonderful Michael Rosen, get well soonest. You are so needed, a vice of unity, sanity, sensitiveness, humanity.

  • Roshan Pedder says:

    My local Palestine Solidarity group has a public reading each year of Michael’s soul stirring poem Don’t Mention the Children written after the Israeli broadcast authority refused permission for the reading of the names of children killed in Gaza during the 2014 invasion.
    Thank you Michael for your poems, your solidarity and for being you. Get well soon. You are much loved and admired.

  • Jude Ellis says:

    Get better soon Michael. We are all willing you on.

  • Benny Ross says:

    One of my Jewish heroes. Zei gezint!

  • June Factor says:

    Dear Michael – fond greetings and best of wishes from far away Oz.

  • Carol Archer says:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery Michael. Remembering poems and books that have given myself my son and children in my classes such pleasure. Thank you.

  • Ayesha Elmahdi says:

    Hey Michael, sorry that you are not well. Get well soon….you have been through so much so you will get through this. Am thinking of you and sending positive vibes. We love your poems, creativity and we need more …lots of love x

  • Richard Kuper says:

    5th April on Fb c.1.00pm:

    Michael Rosen is with Emma-Louise Williams.
    2 hrs ·
    Hello – Quick update – Michael continues to receive excellent care from great @NHSuk staff. He is still poorly but has remained stable this week with some positive signs of improvement. This is a long, hard process for Michael but he does know he has ALL our love & support to continue going in the right direction. Thank you, Emma x

  • Elaine Dean says:

    Hope you get fit and well soon Michael x

  • Alan Franks says:

    So glad you’re getting better, Mike. I think I first saw your excellent These Are The Hands poem in the depths of Grimes Graves in Suffolk. Maybe misremembering as It was a while ago, but I don’t think I’m making it up.

Comments are now closed.