A Mind Apart: Poems of Melancholy, Madness, and Addiction

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"Much madness is divinest sense," wrote Emily Dickinson, "And much sense the starkest madness." The idea that poetry and madness are deeply intertwined, and that madness sometimes leads to the most divine poetry, has been with us since antiquity. In his critical and clinical introduction to this splendid anthology—the first of its kind—psychiatrist and poet Mark S. Bauer considers mental disorders from multiple perspectives and challenges us to broaden our outlook. He has selected more than 200 poems from across seven centuries that reflect a wide range mental states—from despondency and despair to melancholy, mania, and complete submersion into a world of heightened, original perception. Featuring such poets as George Herbert, John Clare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Berryman, Sylvia Plath, Ann Sexton, Weldon Kees, Lucille Clifton, Jane Kenyon, and many others, A Mind Apart has much to offer those who suffer from mental illness, those who work to understand it, and all those who value the poetry that has come to us from the heights and depths of human experience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An excellent choice for study and discussion by residents...A substantial contribution to our field in a book that can expand the reader's sense and knowledge of not only the people we treat, but also the people we walk among every day." —Psychiatrist.com

"A Mind Apart is a wonderful book: human, beautiful, and deeply moving. Dr. Bauer, a leading authority on depressive illnesses, has made a real contribution to our understanding of melancholia and madness." —Kay Redfield Jamison, author of An Unquiet Mind

"Almost as long as poetry has been written, it has been associated with madness. As both physician and poet, Mark Bauer is uniquely positioned to explore this field of reality and myth. His superb introductory essay argues that some kinds of unhinging are a benefit to poets, others a disaster. And his selection of poems from the Middle Ages to the present day is one of the most fascinating anthologies I have ever read."—David Mason, University of Colorado

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195336405
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/14/2008
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark S. Bauer is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Harvard South Shore Psychiatry Residency Training Program. He has published well over 100 scientific articles and book chapters, and four other books. His poems have appeared in a variety of literary journals in the US, UK, and Australia, and he is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Imperial Days and The Gnarled Man Rises.

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Table of Contents

Thomas Hoccleve (1368/9-c.1426)
from "Hoccleve Remembers His Madness"
from "Anxious Thought"
Charles d'Orleans (1394-1465)
I am Forsaken
Farewell this World
William Dunbar (1460-1520)
In Winter
Alexander Barclay (1475-1552)
from "Ship of Fools"
Anonymous (published 1500)
A Song of Ale
Anonymous (published 1500)
Petition to Have Her Leave to Die
Fulke Greville (1554-1628)
from "Despair"
Thomas Lodge (1557-1625)
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Sonnet 129
Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639)
Upon the Death of Sir Albert Morton's Wife
A Hymn to God in a Night of My Late Sickness
John Davies (1569-1618)
Robert Burton (1577-1640)
The Author's Abstract of Melancholy
John Fletcher (1579-1625) and/or Thomas Middleton (1580-1627)
Lady Mary Wroth (1586-1652)
Sonnet VI from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus
Sonnet XIX from The Countess of Montgomery's Urania
Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
The Mad Maid's Song
George Herbert (1593-1633)
Affliction I
Affliction IV
The Collar
John Milton (1608-1674)
from "Samson Agonistes"
Methought I saw my late espoused Saint
Ann Bradstreet (1612-1672)
Upon Some Distemper of the Body
Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1624-1674)
A Discourse on Melancholy
Thomas Traherne (1636-1674)
James Carkesse (published 1679)
On the Doctors' Telling Him that till He Left off Making Verses He was Not Fit to Be Discharged
Anonymous (published 1658)
On Melancholy
Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661-1720)
The Spleen: A Pindaric Poem
Edward Ward (1667-1731)
The Extravagant Drunkard's Wish
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
The Hurry of the Spirits, in a Fever and Nervous Disorders
Edward Young (1683-1765)
from "Night Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality: Night I"
William Harrison (1685-1713)
In Praise of Laudanum
Mary Barber (1685-1755)
On seeing an Officer's Widow distracted, who had been driven to Despair by a long and Fruitless Solicitation for the Arrears of her Pension
Anonymous (published 1692)
Loving Mad Tom
Matthew Green (1696-1737)
from "The Spleen. An Epistle to Mr. C—-J—-"
William Collins (1721-1759)
Ode to Fear
Thomas Mozeen (published 1768)
The Bedlamite
Christopher Smart (1722-1771)
Hymn to the Supreme Being from "Jubliate Agno"
Thomas Warton (1728-1790)
from "The Pleasures of Melancholy"
William Cowper (1731-1800)
Lines Written During a Period Of Insanity
The Shrubbery, Written in a Time of Affliction
Anonymous (published 1733)
A Receipt to Cure Love's Fit
Robert Fergusson (1750-1774)
Ode to Disappointment
Anonymous (published 1751)
Strip Me Naked, or Royal Gin for Ever. A Picture
Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770)
Sunday, A Fragment
John Codrington Bampfylde (1754-1796)
On a Frightful Dream
William Blake (1757-1828)
My Spectre around me night and day
To Mr. Butts, Gr. Marlborough St. London; from Letters, A Selection
Mad Song
William Bloomfield (1766-1823)
from "The Farmer's Boy"
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)
The Suicide's Argument
The Pains of Sleep from "Dejection: An Ode"
Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-1824)
from "Lament of Tasso"
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
Stanzas Written in Dejection Near Naples
John Clare (1793-1864)
I Am
Sonnet: I Am
The Ruins of Despair
To Melancholy
John Keats (1795-1821)
Ode on Melancholy
Anonymous ("Orestes") (published 1796)
A Sonnet to Opium: Celebrating its Virtues. Written at the side of Julia, when the Author was Inspired with a Dose of Laudanum, more than Sufficient for two Moderate Turks
Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1839)
I welcome the back again, Spirit of Song
Popular Songs
American Mock-Bird (published 1801)
The Mad Lover
Crazy Paul
Temple of Harmony (published 1801)
Choice Collection (published 1805)
Crazy Jane
The Death of Crazy Jane
Boston Musical Miscellany (published 1815)
Nancy and Gin
Songster's Companion (published 1815)
Mary LeMore
Songs for Ladies (published 1825)
The Frantic Maid
Muse, or The Flowers of Poetry(published 1827)
Soliloquy on Smoking
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)
from "In Memoriam: III, XIV, XIX"
Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)
from "Empedocles on Aetna"
Sydney Dobell (1824-1874)
from "Balder. Part the First. Scenes XIII and XIV"
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Henry Kendall (1839-1882)
Outre Mer
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
Just the Same
The Wound
In Tenebris II
Mad Judy
Robert Bridges (1844-1930)
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief
Carrion Comfort
I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day
A. Mary F. Robinson (1857-1944)
Ernest Dowson (1867-1900)
To one in Bedlam
Edward Thomas (1878-1917)
Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967)
Repression of War Experience
Ivor Gurney (1890-1937)
Strange Hells
The Shame
To God
An Appeal for Death
For Mercy of Death
Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)
Mental Cases
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
I Know 100 Ways to Die
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)
Louise Bogan (1897-1970)
Evening in the Sanitarium
Hart Crane (1899-1932)
The Idiot
(John Orley) Allen Tate (1899-1979)
Ode to Fear
Anonymous (published 1930)
from "Thoughts Suggested on a Thanksgiving Day Passed at the State Lunatic Asylum, Worcester, Mass. by a Patient"
from Poetry of the Insane (Dr. Charles Mayos, editor; published 1930)
The Snow
The Cure
Richard David Comstock (published 1930)
Always Like This
Stanley Kuntiz (1905-2006)
The Portrait
Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)
In a Dark Time
Her Longing
Lines Upon Leaving a Sanitarium
Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)
Visits to Saint Elizabeth's
J. V. (James Vincent) Cunningham (1911-1985)
from "Interview with Doctor Drink"
Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966)
from "The Studies of Narcissus"
from Genesis, Book II
John Berryman (1914-1972)
Dreamsongs 172
Randall Jarrell (1914-1965)
In the Ward: The Sacred Wood
Weldon Kees (1914-1955)
from "The Fall of the Magicians"
The Clinic
Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)
Out of the Sighs
Robert Lowell (1917-1977)
Waking in the Blue
Home after Three Months Away
Robert Edward Duncan (1919-1988)
Songs of An Other
Howard Nemerov (1920-1991)
To D-, Dead by Her Own Hand
Hayden Carruth (1921- )
from "The Asylum"
Lines Written in an Asylum from "Ontological Episode of the Asylum"
Philip Larkin (1922-1985)
Anthony Hecht (1923-2004)
A Deep Breath at Dawn
Richard Hugo (1923-1982)
In Your War Dream
Cape Nothing
Letter to Logan from Milltown
James Schuyler (1923-1991)
The Payne Whitney Poems: What
The Payne Whitney Poems: Pastime
The Payne Whitney Poems: The Night
Donald Justice (1925-2004)
Counting the Mad
The Man Closing Up
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)
from "Howl"
Robert Bly (1926- )
Wiley Clements (1928- )
Military Journalist
Ann Sexton (1928-1974)
from "The Double Image"
Ringing the Bells
Carl Wolfe Solomon (1928- )
Antitotalitarian Manifesto for Evergreen Review
Ned O'Gorman (1929- )
Peace, After Long Madness
Stuart Z. Perkoff (1930-1974)
from "The Venice Poems; I:4"
Junk Nursery Rhymes
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
Street Song
from The Journal of Saint Dympna (Earl "Pete" Nurmi, editor; published 1979)
Lee Merrill
Mary Coleman
The ghost behemians of Meridel LeSueur
John Appling Sours
Institute at Christmas
Lucille Clifton (1936- )
shapeshifter poems
Jim Harrison (1937- )
Les Murray (1938- )
from Fredy Neptune, Book I
Sharon Olds (1942- )
Satan Says
Timothy Dekin (1943-2001)
Quincy Troupe (1943- )
River Town Packin House Blues
Thomas P. Beresford (1946- )
Edith in Ann Arbor
Robert L. Barth (1947- )
Epigraph from Deeply Dug In
Jane Kenyon (1947-1995)
Having it Out with Melancholy
Yusef Komunyakaa (1947- )
Joseph Salemi (1947- )
Sicilian Beachead
Aimee Grunberger (1951-1995)
The Administration of Veterans
Jimmy Santiago Baca (1952- )
This Dark Side
Mark Jarman (1952- )
Questions for Ecclesiastes from "Transfiguration"
Franz Wright (1953- )
The Voice
Rorschach Test
Certain Tall Buildings
Thanks Prayer at the Cove
David Baker (1954- )
Melancholy Man
Michael Lauchlan (1954- )
What You Hadn't
Joe Bolton (1961-1990)
Laguna Beach Breakdown
A Couple of Suicide Cases
Kelly Ann Malone (1963- )
Devices on Standby
Brian Turner (1967- )
Kevin Young (1970- )
Coke (The Real Thing)
from In the Realms of the Unreal. "Insane" Writings (John G.H. Oakes, editor) (published 1991) Nicol
By My Own Hand
Richard Beard
The Queen's Foreboding
Jeff Holt (1971- )
The Patient
Ricky Cantor (1985- )
E 9th Street
Coda: Anne Stevenson (1933- )
Letter to Sylvia Plath
Biographical Notes
Index of Poets
Index of Titles
Index of First Lines

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