"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

17 January 2008


I am reading where Smith explores many of the images, analogies, metaphors that have been used over the centuries to try to explain or illustrate depression. These two made me laugh (not because I think they're so terribly funny, but because of the way he puts their truth):

Subterranean [places]: We'll get there sooner or later.

Flora: [. . .] According to Cesare Ripa's 1593 Iconologia, the illness is best represented by "a barren tree," since "melancholy produces the same effect on men as winter does on vegetation." True enough. On the other hand, Caspar David Friedrich's 1801 drawing "Melancholy" shows an impassable wilderness of flowerless, tangled limbs and harsh thistles. This also looks right.


Cindy said...

...looking this up on Amazon to read reviews even while I type this...

..."His conviction that depression has a spiritual dimension..." ---Well, duh!

Putting this on the Wish list straightaway. Interestingly enough, I've pondered Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression as well, especially since it includes writing by both Shenk and Jane Kenyon.

alaiyo said...

I've thought about getting _Unholy Ghost_ also . . . It would probably be worth it just for those two essays . . .

Depression has a spiritual dimension? Why, who on earth knew???? (Not far too many doctors today, I'm afraid . . .)

predictablepoet said...

I am on my way to the library this morning and was trying to decide what to read this week! You always give such wonderful ideas/reviews!