[Skip to Navigation]
November 1988

Destroyers and Other Verses: Henry Head, the Poet

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.

Arch Neurol. 1988;45(11):1257-1260. doi:10.1001/archneur.1988.00520350095023

• Henry Head's literary contributions have gone virtually unnoticed despite Lord Brain's contention that "Had Henry Head not adopted medicine as a profession, he might have been equally distinguished as a writer." During World War I, Head published war poems in several literary journals and in 1919 they were compiled into a volume entitled Destroyers and Other Verses. Prior to Destroyers, Head published two other volumes of poetry and, in 1922, he wrote an introduction to a collection of works by Thomas Hardy, compiled by his equally literate wife, Ruth. That the literary influence between the Heads was mutual is revealed by the many references to medicine and physicians in the novels of Ruth Head. This article presents the literary works of Henry and Ruth Head and describes this little known but important part of Sir Henry's career.

Add or change institution