Psychoolpathology In Poetry

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As Emily Dickinson once wrote, “Much madness is divinest sense, and much sense the starkest madness.” From Dionysian ritual to the notion of epilepsy as divine illness, altered states have been associated with inspiration. The idea that poetry and madness are deeply interwined, and that madness sometimes leads to the most divine poetry, has been with us since antiquity. The everlasting and growing interest of neurotic poets results from the tight relationship between mental illness and poetic creation. Traditionally, psycholpathology is regarded as the disease of the self, and poetry is kind of writing that is closest in to the self. More than other forms of writing, poetry is more often written in the first person. It is noteworthy that, most…show more content…
Researchers mainly concern about the psychological and spiritual growth of the self. A. Alvarez however considered that some poems in Life Studies seemed “more compulsively concerned with the processes of psychoanalysis than with those of poetry”. Peter Porter echoes this opinion when he writes in London Magazine: “Snodgrass is a virtuoso, not just of versification but of his feelings. He sends them round the loops of self analysis with the same skill he uses to corset them into his poetry.” The impact of Snodgrass’s self-analytical approach is clearly felt in Stanley Moss’s statement in the New Republic that the poet “has found a place for emotions felt, but previously left without words and out of consciousness. He has identified himself with exquisite suffering and guilt and with all those who barely manage to exist on the edge of…show more content…
Thomas Parkinson declares that “the person in history is the main subject” of Lowell’s For the Union Dead, whatmore, Parkinson highly appraise the treatment of “the moment where person and history meet” in Lowell’s poems. Also, Richard Poirier asserts in Critics on Robert Lowell that Lowell’s personal breakdown and his visions of public or historical decline are closely related, he further agrees that “the assurance that the poet’s most private experiences simply are of historical, even mythical, importance gives this poetry an extraordinary air of personal authority.” The form and linguistic paradigm of Confessional poetry also attract alot of literary researchers. Of For the Union Dead, Lowell said in After Reading Six or Seven Essays on Me that "free verse subjects seemed to melt away, and I found myself back in strict meter, yet tried to avoid the symbols and heroics of my first books." In his next collection, Near the Ocean, he wrote a long sequence in eight-line four-foot couplet stanzas, a form he borrowed from the seventeenth-century English poet Andrew
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