Psychiatry as Poetry
Updated: Jun 24, 2019
My husband recently reminded me of something a professor told me about 20 years ago - that there is more poetry written than there are people interested in reading poetry. I am undeterred. I believe the thoughtful shaping of words through poetry provides a metaphorical vernacular that might propel us into a different perspective, tearing down walls that protect us from difficult to examine truths in order to open up doors to greater depth and understanding.
In short: Poetry posses power to pick apart the paradigms that protect pain and to penetrate paradox to prophesy the precious and precarious path of pilgrimage.
In a sense, that is also what psychiatry should also do. So, I see the convergence of psychiatry and poetry as quite a natural movement.
I will curate poems that resonate with meta-themes of transition, trauma, grief, shame, despair, vulnerability, authenticity, belonging, purpose, growth and hope. This is not an inclusive list but it is a good jumping off point. Regardless of scope, these themes are much more gracious containers to envelop deeper biological and psychological phenomena of diagnosis such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc. I am more interested in the human condition that allows for these experiences to take shape. I will feature poetry mostly that has stood the test of time, some contemporary and may even occasionally share my own.
Check out this link for a great introduction to why I love poetry: