State Of Mind

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub:  Making much of Madness
(Posted by Laura Bloomsbury)

For this Poetics Challenge, write in the 1st or 3rd person of your own experiences (real or imagined) or your witnessing mental health issues. Or if you prefer, base it on a poem which depicts living with, or alongside, ‘madness’ – and don’t forget to reference it!

“We poets in our youth begin in gladness; But thereof comes in the end despondency and madness” (William Wordsworth, Resolution and Independence, 1802).

What is it that causes
creative people
to pause in their lives,
and suddenly wallow
in despondency, and a
feeling of hollowness?
Is it lack of accolades,
or money? Do they need
one or both in order
to feel successful,
worthy, alive? Yet,
we see people who have
both these attributes
drink to excess, use
drugs, commit suicide.
Maybe their minds were
already deficient; there
was no way to handle
success or failure.

I have seen both sides
of bi-polar people. When
they are down, their expressions
are blank, exhaustion sets in. When
they are up, their faces
light up with joy, they
are filled with energy,
and talk. But, the balance
of their personality is
possible only with medication,
a sedation that clouds their
minds and makes them feel
like zombies. That’s why
so many afflicted people go
off their medications. At
least it makes them feel alive.
How to stay alive is the problem.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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18 Responses to State Of Mind

  1. msjadeli says:

    Excellent insight into bipolar, Purple.


  2. kim881 says:

    Now I’m worried – this sounds like me!


  3. rothpoetry says:

    You poem reminds me of Johnny Cash’s last song “Hurt” from Nine Inch Nails! The roller coaster mind is often an enigma!


  4. To feel alive you have to take the risk of not staying alive… really good (and so true)


  5. Mike Bayles says:

    This is a powerful poem, and some fellow writers I know are bi-polar. Good going.


  6. Maggie C says:

    One of the many labels I’ve collected in life is Bipolar II. The highs are less high than Bipolar I, but the lows go a lot lower. Where’s the fun in that? I used to think I could only write good poetry when I was depressed. Turns out I could only write depressing poetry when I was depressed. I like being on the other side now.


  7. lynn__ says:

    Your purple pen bleeds truth about bi-polar…great questions raised and your ending makes the point clear.


  8. Bhagyashree says:

    The last line is so powerful. Not only creative artists but people now-a-days are grappling with this baffling question. Great post! Loved your poem.🌸


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