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Warning - Poetry Shortens Your Life

  1. Apr 23, 2004 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://xtramsn.co.nz/news/0,,3782-3279948,00.html

    Not to be knocking great literature since I really do have a great appreciation for what I have read, but while in college I did notice that the stuff is often really depressing. I remember being depressed for days while I had to read and analyze Hemmingway’s "To Kill an Elephant".
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2004 #2
    Is that a maniac theory or what!
     
  4. Apr 23, 2004 #3

    selfAdjoint

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    Dearly Missed

    Kenneth Rexroth, a critic and poet, stated years ago that "The leading cause of death among American poets of 'anthology rank' is suicide."
     
  5. Apr 24, 2004 #4

    Moonbear

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    I agree it would have been better if they broke down the causes of death, at least into general categories of "natural causes" and "suicide." It does seem, from the perspective of the casual observer, that poets are more depressed and use poetry as an outlet for that depression. It also seems to me that the other categories of writers are more likely to see their works published and gaining fame in their lifetime, so would get more reward for their efforts. Even a very popular poem just doesn't get the same sort of recognition as a best-selling novel, so someone who is seriously trying to earn a living as a poet is probably going to spend life feeling pretty unappreciated...not unlike the starving artist whose paintings don't catch on as something collectors want until after the artist's death.
     
  6. Apr 24, 2004 #5
    True, very depressing. I remember feeling depressed for a while when I had to write a report on a poem entitled "Vergissmeinnicht".

    http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/710.html

    EDIT: The author of the poem "Vergissmeinnicht", Keith Douglas, died shortly after he wrote this poem during the invasion of Normandy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2004
  7. Apr 24, 2004 #6
    I got depressed when I got my grade on my research paper on "Porpyria's Lover" by Robert Browning.
     
  8. Apr 24, 2004 #7

    Math Is Hard

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    What's the average lifespan of a physicist?
     
  9. Apr 27, 2004 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    In whose frame of reference? :biggrin:
     
  10. Apr 28, 2004 #9

    Math Is Hard

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    Eep! I hadn't thought of that! :eek:
     
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