Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Poetry and Madness...

My last post was about the poem "Tom O' Bedlam and the person on YouTube, Spoken Verse who both recites wonderful poetry and recites poetry wonderfully : ) He is known on-line as, Tom O' Bedlam.

There are many times when I have thought that there is a strong correlation between poetry and madness. Poems with their confusing metaphors and convoluted phrasing may seem like the rantings of a disturbed mind.

Poetry is often full of fantasy, with disjointed images, that seldom make sense on the first reading. Poems need to be read and re-read. I think of the repetitious musings of the deranged - the rhyme becoming a chant or the lines drifting off into nowhere. One of my favourite poets, e. e. cummings, is a master of this confusion.

Let's Live Suddenly Without Thinking

E. E. Cummings

let’s live suddenly without thinking

under honest trees,
                        a stream
does.the brain of cleverly-crinkling
-water pursues the angry dream
of the shore. By midnight,
                                a moon
scratches the skin of the organised hills

an edged nothing begins to prune

let’s live like the light that kills
and let’s as silence,
                            because Whirl’s after all:
(after me) love, and after you.
I occasionally feel vague how
vague i don’t know tenuous Now-
spears and The Then-arrows making do
our mouths something red, something tall

Scarborough Bluffs

"The skin of organized hills" - photographers can be a little mad too. Please post any thoughts you have on the topic.


  1. My kiddos and I are studying poetry right now in school. I agree that most poems need more than one reading, especially with our habit of "scanning". I love poetry, and regarding your question about madness: I wouldn't doubt that many poets were a little nuts, as many visual artists were.

  2. If nuts means different from the norm- then most creative folks are just that... Or, they would not create something new.