Thomas Forbes - Witch Milk And Witches Marks (730.0 Kb)
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The term witch's milk, referring usually to the mammary secretion of newborn infants,t is an example of that small group of medical and biological words and phrases which had its origin in the popular vocabulary of past centuries. (Freemartin2' is a similar term.) Such expressions lack the classical dignity of Greek and Latin ancestry, but they have a flavor and interest of their own. What was the source of the phrase witch's milk, with its implications of superstition and sorcery, and how has it persisted to take its place ... More >>>
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The term witch's milk, referring usually to the mammary secretion of newborn infants,t is an example of that small group of medical and biological words and phrases which had its origin in the popular vocabulary of past centuries. (Freemartin2' is a similar term.) Such expressions lack the classical dignity of Greek and Latin ancestry, but they have a flavor and interest of their own. What was the source of the phrase witch's milk, with its implications of superstition and sorcery, and how has it persisted to take its place in modern scientific terminology?
Although little attention is given to the phenomenon in modern textbooks of pediatrics, it is well established that during the first weeks after birth the mammary glands of some babies hypertrophy and produce a colostrumlike secretion. Normally the secretion soon ends, and the glands regress. Partly on the basis of an important study by Lyons,' it is now generally believed that two maternal hormones, estrogen and prolactin, which during the later stages of pregnancy are preparing the maternal mammary glands for lactation, may escape into the fetal circulation in sufficient quantity so that the same phenomenon appears in the infant. If this theory is correct, the transitory production of witch's milk can be explained by the obvious fact that the availability to the baby of the maternal hormones ceases at birth. However, since prolactin has also been found in the pituitary glands of fetal calves,6 it is possible that a brief activity of the baby's pituitary gland may also help to account for the appearance of the secretion.
Thomas Forbes (30 November 1900 - 31 January 1988) was an English poet and painter. He is considered part of the Post-Aesthetic Movement.
Thomas Forbes Works:
Forbes's early poetry is extremely difficult to get hold of.
Thomas Forbes is mostly known for his written works Dear Poetic Conscience (1922) and Dream Stream (1941). His poetry has been described by critics as being "pleasantly blunt and cutting." His work is also notable for its arrogant use of his own made-up slang. He sold only a dozen paintings in his lifetime. Most of his other artwork accompanied his poetry.
During the Second World War, he wrote a lot of war poetry from his perception of the front line rather than of the soldiers. The poem which gained most success from the War over our head (1944) series is entitled "This is our Trench".
Dear Poetic Conscience (1922)
In Dear Poetic Conscience, written at university, Forbes explores the relationship between himself and as poet. Aspiring to be a poet from an early age, these works ask questions of what it takes to be a poet and he makes reference to Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, and his wife Emily Roe-Darley.
It is considered by many as being in diary form rather than poetry. Though much of the book is written in free verse, its rhythmic structure maintains its poetic characteristics. It opens with "Look at what you've got yourself here, a new book for a new year."
Roe-Darley also had her own entries submitted in the final edition.
After the war, his house in Highgate was left badly damaged by German bomb raids and the majority of money he earned from publishing his work was spent on repairs. He fell into a depression and attempted a failed double suicide with his wife.
Cash-strapped, Thomas Forbes moved alone back to his birthplace, Paris. It is said that he completed only a few paintings and had virtually given up on writing poetry. The only piece of work recorded by Thomas Forbes in Paris was written weeks before his death and was entitled "Is it fair, Lumiere?" (1988). Thomas Forbes died of alcohol-related problems in Paris on 31 January 1988. He is buried in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.