Chronic breathlessness: re-thinking the symptom (Macnaughton et al, 2018)

The Life of Breath team, like our colleagues at Breathe Oxford, recently responded to the proposal that defining chronic breathlessness as a syndrome might raise awareness of its impact on people’s lives. We stress that more consultation with ‘experts-by-experience’ (patients who experience … Read more…

Breath, Pulse and Measure

In his manifesto ‘Projective Verse’ (1950) the poet Charles Olson proposed a new view of poetic structure based on the breath. Olson’s ideas were taken up, developed and modified by other American poets, including William Carlos Williams and Denise Levertov. … Read more…

To Breathe Ourselves into Some Other Lungs

Kate Binnie singers

  A cappella singing, a lone rower in the Pacific Ocean, fungal spores, clairvoyance and a baby’s cries…what could possibly tie these things together? The surprising answer is breath and poetry. ‘To Breathe Ourselves Into Some Other Lungs’ was an … Read more…

Lost in Translation? Exploring the language of breathlessness

Sponge

Life of Breath post-doctoral researcher Rebecca Oxley writes: ‘Breath Lab’ is designed as a living experiment to promote discussion around a central theme relating to breath, breathing and breathlessness. The aim is not to discuss key research findings, but rather … Read more…

Inspiring change: humanities and social science insights into the experience and management of breathlessness

Durham team members Rebecca Oxley and Jane Macnaughton argue that, in order to treat breathlessness more effectively, we need a greater understanding of how it feels to be breathless and how this experience may be communicated. In particular they explore the differences between the way … Read more…

‘Out of his nostrils goeth smoke’: whales, whaling and breathing fire

In the second of a series of posts on cetaceans (see also ‘The cetaceans may give rise to some perplexity‘), Project Manager (Bristol) Jess Farr-Cox writes: Whaling abounds with breathing, breathlessness, air, death, myth and song. Factory whaling boats were … Read more…

‘The cetaceans may give rise to some complexity’: breathlessness in whales and dolphins

Whales spouting

In the first of a series of posts on cetaceans (see also ‘Out of his nostrils goeth smoke‘, Project Manager (Bristol) Jess Farr-Cox writes: As discussed in previous posts (see All his heart was cold), Aristotle was fascinated by creatures … Read more…

‘With wide lungs’: smoking, wind and air in W. Somerset Maugham’s The Merry-Go-Round

Jess Farr-Cox, Project Manager (Bristol) writes: The Merry-Go-Round is not as well-known as other works by W. Somerset Maugham, such as Of Human Bondage and his enormous output of short stories. Despite reading Maugham for many years, I had never … Read more…

Arthur’s ‘labouring of the lungs’ in Tennyson’s Idylls of the King

Elsa Hammond is a PhD candidate at the University of Bristol, working on breath and death in the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Tennyson and Thomas Hardy. She writes: In accordance with Arthurian legend, Tennyson’s Arthur does not die absolutely … Read more…