Poems About Depression

I received an email saying that depression is a very popular theme in poetry published online. I checked it out. True. Tons of them on Poem HunterInteresting LiteratureHello PoetrySoul-Awakening. I spent some time reading through.

I found many poems to be raw howls of pain, and some, rhymed in stanzaed verses, a bit more elaborate, but frank enough to get across the message that the writer is in pain and has been for a long time, often with no hope for remission.

I was moved to sympathy. I also learned something about isolating details of depression for poetic expression. If I missed anything, it was “poetry”, the sense of a dimension beyond the personal complaint or within the personal complaint, the transforms the wordflow from complaint to poetry.

I would be very interest to host a discussion of poems about depression.

Meanwhile, here is a poem about depression (or sadness) that does have that second dimension, that context for individual depression (or sadness).

The Sad Shepherd by  William Butler Yeats.

There was a man whom Sorrow named his Friend,
And he, of his high comrade Sorrow dreaming,
Went walking with slow steps along the gleaming
And humming Sands, where windy surges wend:
And he called loudly to the stars to bend
From their pale thrones and comfort him, but they
Among themselves laugh on and sing alway:
And then the man whom Sorrow named his friend
Cried out, Dim sea, hear my most piteous story.!
The sea Swept on and cried her old cry still,
Rolling along in dreams from hill to hill.
He fled the persecution of her glory
And, in a far-off, gentle valley stopping,
Cried all his story to the dewdrops glistening.
But naught they heard, for they are always listening,
The dewdrops, for the sound of their own dropping.
And then the man whom Sorrow named his friend
Sought once again the shore, and found a shell,
And thought, I will my heavy story tell
Till my own words, re-echoing, shall send
Their sadness through a hollow, pearly heart;
And my own talc again for me shall sing,
And my own whispering words be comforting,
And lo! my ancient burden may depart.
Then he sang softly nigh the pearly rim;
But the sad dweller by the sea-ways lone
Changed all he sang to inarticulate moan
Among her wildering whirls, forgetting him.

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Stanley Fefferman

Stanley Fefferman

Whatever road unrolls under my feet is my destination. I know there will be poems by the wayside, mine and others, that I will post and blog about, but not so much about meals or governments or weather. The news I blog comes out of art and music and friends who tell me what's up. What does any of it mean? Let us figure that out as we go.

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