Hi all! (I hope I’m putting this in the right place…)
I desperately need your help!
I’m working on an art project and I need a really powerful, moving poem about depression to accompany it. Could you please recommend one?
See, my project is about someone who’s depressed (duh!), someone who is afraid of what the future might hold maybe, or… well anyway, he’s kind of longing to go back to his childhood when he was careless and fearless and all that…
The poem doesn’t have to be specifically about what I said above, I just want it to be really moving, I want it to stir up feelings.
I do have a few things I wouldn’t want in the poem though: no suicide, no hate, no placing the blame for the depression on someone else…. And I think that’s it…
The poem can be of a famous poet or someone totally anonymous, I don’t have any preferences… although I rather it not be in slang. I don’t know much about poetry or English literature at all seeing as I’m not from an English speaking country and the only poem I “studied” (more like read it once and forgot about it) in school was Annabel Lee which I loved by the way.… well I’m just rambling now, though I did have a point somewhere in there, I was trying to help you narrow down the kind of poem I’m looking for, but with no knowledge about poetry that’s kind of difficult .. ok, I think I’ll stop now.
Anyway, the bottom line is that I’m desperate so please, any suggestion you have, any idea that pops up, just write it down…. The more I have the better my chances of finding ‘the one’.
Thanks a bunch (don't know if people actually say that, but it sounded good),
have a look here and see if there is anything for you (click on flat view)
Thanks for replying so quickly, I went through them... didn't find what I was looking for, but it's a push in the right direction.... If you have any more references don't hesitate to add....
Inbal, read Sylvia Plath and others. Here's a sample:
There is this white wall, above which the sky creates itself-
Infinite, green, utterly untouchable.
Angels swim in it, and the stars, in indifference also.
They are my medium.
The sun dissolves on this wall, bleeding its lights.
A grey wall now, clawed and bloody.
Is there no way out of the mind?
Steps at my back spiral into a well.
There are no trees or birds in this world,
There is only sourness.
This red wall winces continually:
A red fist, opening and closing,
Two grey, papery bags-
This is what i am made of, this, and a terror
Of being wheeled off under crosses and rain of pieties.
On a black wall, unidentifiable birds
Swivel their heads and cry.
There is no talk of immorality among these!
Cold blanks approach us:
They move in a hurry.
I did try to find Sylvia Plath's works, but I only found like 3 poems on the internet... I didn't see this one and it does fit pretty well, from what I understand of it anyway.... Though I think I'll keep on looking... who knows, I might find one that's even better... or at least one that I, and all the other literarily-impaired people who see my work, will understand.
Could you tell me where I can find more of her poems?
If I do use this one I'm going to need help in fully understanding it's meaning. Literature is my worst subject at school and if the poem is going to be part of my work, I'll need to add a detailed explanation of it.... though I'm sure it won't be too hard to find... I hope.
from HAMLET II:ii
Hamlet describing depression very accurately (Shakespeare must have "been there"):
I have of late--but
wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all
custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily
with my disposition that this goodly frame, the
earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
what is this quintessence of dust?
Or perhaps this one from Poe-
by Edgar Allan Poe
In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed-
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.
Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?
That holy dream- that holy dream,
While all the world were chiding,
Hath cheered me as a lovely beam
A lonely spirit guiding.
What though that light, thro' storm and night,
So trembled from afar-
What could there be more purely bright
In Truth's day-star?
NO WORST, THERE IS NONE
No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief-
woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing --
Then lull then leave off. Fury had shrieked "No ling-
ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief".
O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne'er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.
- Gerard Manley Hopkins
There is a good article about the poetry of Hopkins dealing with depression at [www.wischik.com]
Woops--I made a mistake in that reference. Try this one instead:
Could you tell me where I can find more of her poems?
Here's another one of hers I like, not necessarily about depression though:
Winter landscape, with rocks
Water in the millrace, through a sluice of stone,
plunges headlong into that black pond
where, absurd and out-of-season, a single swan
floats chaste as snow, taunting the clouded mind
which hungers to haul the white reflection down.
The austere sun descends above the fen,
an orange cyclops-eye, scorning to look
longer on this landscape of chagrin;
feathered dark in thought, I stalk like a rook,
brooding as the winter night comes on.
Last summer's reeds are all engraved in ice
as is your image in my eye; dry frost
glazes the window of my hurt; what solace
can be struck from rock to make heart's waste
grow green again? Who'd walk in this bleak place?
Wow! I didn't know what I was asking for when I asked you that, did I? That's a lot of poems!
Thank you so much!! I'll start going through them straight away!
You might also like to check out John Clare's asylum poems which were about his feelings of depression and isolation, like this one:
I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death's oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
And e'en the dearest--that I loved the best--
Are strange--nay, rather stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil'd or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below--above the vaulted sky.
When I have ceased to break my wings
Against the faultiness of things,
And learned that compromises wait
Behind each hardly opened gate,
When I can look Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange -- my youth.