Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cory Doctorow's Chicken Little

Happiness. Our eternal quest. What if we knew exactly what would make us happy? What if we could see how every action's repercussions would affect us? We could choose to be happy.

What if we already have this ability? And we choose not to use it?

As always Doctorow makes me think. His ability to define universal issues in the context of modern mass dilemma is uncanny. His voice is full of confidence in human nature even while revealing to us the flaky crust we each want to call our soul. He makes me feel like we are all baked in this pie together, 40 and 20 blackbirds; that this is how we might have our pie and eat it too. We are the pie.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Roland Barthes quotes from

 Roland Barthes Quotes (Author of Camera Lucida) 

Some time ago...resulting in my personal Reader's Block

The whole impetus behind my inspiration and intent for bibliotherapy is that creativity heals, is a healing process. But in reading Readers Block with all the notes of creatives who have committed suicide or have been locked up in looney bins, I am reassessing and thinking it is not so simple.

Feeling deeply is dangerous even when those feelings are transmuted through an artistic medium. So therapeutically accessing feelings requires filters, thus art's structural confines and the importance of taking the time to develop skill sets related to the chosen medium.

Reading what someone else has written is a filtering by the author.i.e., the work has been done for the reader. It is only by fleshing out the work in relation to personal references that there is access and process occurring in any meaningful way for the reader. The mist meaningful being to in turn become an author and make yet more meaning

Until my pain or pleasure or peace is looking back at me, I am not fully conscious of its worth and able to integrate the feeling in a healthy way, whether reexperiencing or learning to move on.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Revolution World by Katy Stauber

First novel by a biochemistry/mathematics major. Dystoptian comedy? Only Texas setting could satisfy sustained disbelief that makes for this delightfully weird Mona Lisa Overdrive meets True Blood, but with comedic layerings, bio/cyber scifi adenture.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

1Q84 Haruki Murakami

Quote p. 178 "No matter how clear the relationships of things might become in the forest of story, there was never a clear-cut solution. ...The role of story was, in the broadest terms, to transpose a single problem into another form. Depending on the nature and direction of the problem, a solution could be suggested in the narrative. ...It was like a piece of paper bearing the indecipherable text of a magic spell. At times it lacked coherence and served no immediate practical purpose. But it would contain a possibility. Someday he might be able to decipher the spell."

Friday, November 02, 2012

excellent YALSA bibliotherapy article

Other Bibliotherapy- Related Terms Literatherapy: Refers to the direct and intentional use of literary text in conjunction with psychotherapy. Bibliodiagnostics: When bibliotherapy’s techniques are used for assessment. Iblioprophylaxis: When bibliotherapy is used for prevention. Videotherapy: The use of film or video for therapeutic purposes. What is bibliotherapy? Is it giving a person struggling with depression a self-help book? Is it teaching problem-solving skills to a third-grader by working through a book together? Is it when a nurse uses a book to help a diabetic child come to terms with the disease? In each case the answer is a resounding “yes.” Literature on the topic of bibliotherapy—whether quantitative research studies using control groups, anecdotal accounts, or statements about the efficacy and power of books—points to one conclusion: books can and do make a difference. The definitions of bibliotherapy range from the simplest—“helping with books”—to a more complex one described by Katz and Watt as “the guided use of reading, always with a therapeutic outcome in mind.”1 The ancient Greeks recognized the power of books as therapeutic tools by inscribing these words above the door at the library of Thebes: “The medicine chest of the soul.” It is not the definition of bibliotherapy that is perplexing, but rather the worry that the principle of “giving the right patron the right book at the right time” could turn into a troika of wrongs—the wrong patron, the wrong book, and the wrong time.2 Over time, mental health specialists and librarians—and to a smaller degree, nurses and educators—have kept the practice of bibliotherapy alive albeit on theperiphery of their professions. While many mental health professionals consider bibliotherapy lacking compared to other more tried-and-true treatments, librarians shy away from anything that suggests therapy. Even though most librarians wholeheartedly believe that books can heal, there is confusion about their role in this process. Principally, librarians worry about overstepping their bounds. They worry that a book suggested by them could heap additional distress on a patron who is already suffering. Bibliotherapy Has a History The term bibliotherapy was first coined in 1916 by Unitarian minister Samuel Crothers, who wrote in The Atlantic Monthly about a technique of bringing troubled persons together with books.3 By the early 1920s, Sadie Peterson Delaney,chief ibrarian of the United States Veterans Administration Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama, was using books to treat the psychological and physical needs of African American war veterans. Thefirst step in bibliotherapy, which Delaney defined as “the treatment of a patient through selected reading” was to know the patient through case histories as well as books.4 Working as a team of social workers and psychiatrists, their purpose was to “enable patients to connect—or reconnect—themselves with a broad community of ideas.”5 Delaney’s holistic practice of bibliotherapy transcended typical literary events such as book groups and story hours to include hobby clubs and activities such as stamp and coin collecting and debating to awaken a patient’s mind. Delaney’s techniques created such a buzz that she received worldwide recognition. Between 1924 and 1958, Delaney spoke at major conferences and held lectures in conjunction with psychology courses, and actively trained other librarians in the practice of bibliotherapy.6 In 1937, Dr. William C. Menninger, a founder of the Menninger Clinic, a prestigious group psychiatry practice, edited a book about psychiatry that included several of his papers. In one of these papers he described the purposes of bibliotherapy, how it fit into a patient’s treatment plan,and how it was to be prescribed. At the Menninger Clinic, bibliotherapy was used to treat mental illness but only after the patient’s background, symptoms, and therapeutic needs had been evaluated. Because bibliotherapy was considered a treatment, the physician was responsible for the contents of the library and must approve the books before they [were] purchased,” and for prescribing reading assignments.7 The librarian’s responsibilities included “the mechanics of purchasing and maintaining and distributing the books,” as well as having personal knowledge of the bookand interviewing patients about their reading.8 Wolpow and Askov believe that Menninger’s writings brought about the “polemic confusion as to what constituted therapy in bibliotherapy. Was it the interaction between the book and the reader? Was it the interaction among the book, the reader, and the person directing the reader? Or was it the interaction between bibliotherapy supervisor and the reader?”9 Caroline Shrodes furthered the study in her 1950 dissertation, when she postulated that there is a psychological basis to bibliotherapy. According to Shrodes, the reader “under the impact of imaginative literature, is subject to certain processes of adaptation or growth,” which correspond to the major phases of psychotherapy: identification, projection, abreaction and catharsis, and insight.10 First, identification and projection occur when the reader shares a problem, circumstance, or issue with the book’s character. Second, abreaction and catharsis occur for the reader when the character resolves a problem, circumstance, or issue. Third, insight occurs when the reader reflects on his or her situation and internalizes the character’s solution. In the 1970s, Rhea Joyce Rubin added to the librarian’s understanding of bibliotherapy by editing the classics Bibliotherapy Sourcebook and Using Bibliotherapy: A Guide to Theory and Practice. By this time, bibliotherapy had been categorized into several types. One type, the art of bibliotherapy, is similar to reader’s advisory practiced by librarians. Other terms for this include implicit, developmental, and nonmedical bibliotherapy.11 A second type, the science of bibliotherapy, is practiced by trained mental health professionals. Other terms for this type include explicit, clinical,diagnostic, or institutional.12 In her books, Rubin answered the question first posed by Alice Bryan in 1939: “Can there be a science of bibliotherapy?” To be considered a science rather than an art, bibliotherapyneeds a body of experimental data that proves its effectiveness. Rubin’s intent was to present this scientific evidence to librarians and others. Mental Health Specialists and Bibliotherapy While librarians know that books are powerful, mental health specialists have conducted rigorous studies to prove bibliotherapy works. By using metaanalysis, a technique of synthesizing research results using various statistical methods, mental health specialists have determined that bibliotherapy is effective in certain circumstances. Pieter Cuijpers and Robert J. Gregory et al. performed meta-analysis to isolate the effectiveness of bibliotherapy in treating depression.13 Mark Floyd used meta-analysis to gage the effectiveness of bibliotherapy to assuage geriatric depression.14 Timothy R. Apodaca and William R. Miller conducted a meta-analysis to determine the effectiveness of bibliotherapy in treating alcohol problems.15 In each of these meta-analyses, bibliotherapy was found to be an effective treatment in certain instances. First, it was found to be most effective with individuals whose mental health issues are minimal to moderate in severity. Second, bibliotherapy is most effective in combination with other treatments. Third, bibliotherapy is a viable option in rural areas where mental health treatment is not available or when therapy time is limited. For instance, in one study comparing treatments for panic attacks, bibliotherapy was more beneficial than minimal interventions such as phone contact with a therapist.16 Fourth, bibliotherapy increases the patient’s sense of responsibility. It works best with motivated individuals who are functioning at a higher cognitive level. However, Floyd cautions that bibliotherapy may be harmful if theclient feels that the therapist is minimizing their problems by giving them a book.17 Dr. Cindy Crosscope Scott, a licensed counselor in North Carolina, utilizes fiction, fables, fairy tales, song lyrics, and self-help books in her practice. She often uses these materials with patients “out of session,” as homework, to mull over and discuss at the next meeting because “sometimes books get through when nothing else does.”18 She cautions that because “we are a nation that wants to be fixed,” some self-help books with a simplistic “follow these steps and you will be healed” approach can cause anxious patients to feel even more so.19 Dr. Scott asks two questions when selecting self-help books: Is the author respected in the field? Does the author base self-help recommendations on empirical research?20 Librarians and Bibliotherapy Librarians and other professionals, such as nurses and educators, have written many anecdotal articles describing how books can, and do, make a difference. Shirfra Baruchson-Arbib tells of an experiment in a school library in Israel in which a smallcollection of supportive self-help, prose, and poetry books were made available to students in grades seven through nine for the purpose of stimulating discussion about relevant issues and problems facing the teens.21 Baruchson-Arbib believes that the function of the school library in contemporary society needs to go beyond its traditional role to one that helps teens in three ways: to “absorb cultural values and knowledge,” to become active members of the community, and to understand their problems.22 She suggests that librarians adopt another name for bibliotherapy, such as “supportive knowledge,” since the connotation of therapy dominates discussions about the helpfulness of books.23 Lenkowsky and Lenkowsky encourage the use of literature with learning disabled students who bring special problems and challenges to the classroom because of past histories of academic and social failure.24 One student, Bonnie, a fifteen-year-old reading at a sixth-grade level, had very few friends and was concerned that she might never date. After it was discovered that Bonnie’s reading interest revolved around sports, a high-interest, low-vocabulary book about a lonely girl who excelled at basketball was recommended to Bonnie. Her self confidence grew as she read this book, and then had more difficult ones read to her, about girls who overcame their social struggles. Two nurses, Manworren and Woodring, write about the ways children’sliterature can be used to educate patients about illness, surgery, and hospitalization.25 Their concerns about the developmental appropriateness and accuracy of literature are similar to librarians’ concerns: how to evaluate popular literature for developmental appropriateness and content accuracy. Amer writes about how nurses used books to help children with short stature and diabetes discuss their feelings and cope with their challenges.26 The Littlest Leaguer by Syd Hoff (Windmill, 1976) was used with short-stature children. Diabetic children benefited from Sugar Isn’t Everything by Willo Davis Roberts (Atheneum, 1987)and Tough Beans by Betty Bates (Holiday House, 1988). Amer encourages nurses and parents to use books to help children discuss their ailments.27 Individuals and Bibliotherapy Whether books are used clinically or developmentally, they are powerful. People who value reading usually have a story or two to share about how books helped them deal with a certain situation. After my son’s girlfriend, Emily (her name has been changed), died suddenly, I thought long and hard about my responsibilities as a librarian working with teens, many of whom were in pain as a result of myriad family and personal problems not uncommon in today’s society. As part of my grieving process, I turned to books that I thought could have helped Emily deal with her challenges if only I had known enough to recommend them to her. For example, I was drawn to Solitary Blue by Cynthia Voigt. I would have wanted Emily to recognize the similarities between her life and that of Jeff ’s, the main character. Several incidents from the book mirrored Emily’s life in so many ways. In one scene, Jeff is stranded at the Charleston airport waiting for his chronically late mother,Melody, to arrive. In another scene Melody trades in Jeff ’s airplane ticket for a bus ticket because “there are better uses for the extra dollars” but neglects to give him any money for food even though the bus ride was sixteen hours long.28 Jeff was able to protect himself by tapping into his inner strengths and welcoming the support of others. I would have wanted the same for Emily. Where Do We Go From Here? As a population, we are much more aware of mental health challenges and recognize the value of self-help efforts. Any time a book is read by someone who needs its message to solve a problem or reflect on a challenge, bibliotherapy has occurred. Even recommending a book as part of reader’s advisory may touch on bibliotherapy if the book is used to heal. Therefore, it is clear that librarians conduct reader’s advisory and developmental bibliotherapy without hesitation. Concern kicks in when giving someone a book who has mental health issues morphs into therapy. There are roles for librarians in the art of developmental bibliotherapy, as well as clinical therapy. Perhaps one role for librarians in the science of bibliotherapy is to partner with mental health specialists to provide the names of books as well as specific passages that could be useful in therapy. In this way, librarians can be proactive and prove their usefulness to mental health specialists. On their own, it is of primary importance that librarians select quality books; self-help books must be well-written and credible. Secondly, perhaps a series of informational programs by mental health professionals with books and films tacked on could be developed. Finally, librarians should always be aware of community problems and issues discussed in the media because it is likely patrons will request information on such topics. YALS Additional Reading Burgin, Robert, ed. Nonfiction Reader’s Advisory. Libraries Unlimited, 2004; ISBN 159158115X; $39.95. Doll, Beth, and Carol Doll. Bibliotherapy with Young People: Librarians and Mental Health Professionals Working Together. Libraries Unlimited, 1997; ISBN 1563084074; $25.00. Hesley, John W., and Jan G. Hesley. Rent Two Films and Let’s Talk in the Morning: Using Popular Movies in Psychotherapy. John Wiley & Sons, 2001; ISBN 0471416592; $47.50. Joshua, Janice Maidman, and Donna DiMenna. Read Two Books and Let’s Talk Next Week: Using Bibliotherapy in Clinical Practice. John Wiley & Sons, 2000; ISBN 0471375659; $49.95. Stanley, Linda. Reading to Heal. Element, 1999; ISBN 1862043906; $21.95. References 1. Gilda Katz and John A. Watt, “Bibliotherapy: The Use of Books in Psychiatric Treatment,” Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 37, no. 3 (1992): 173. 2. Brian W. Sturm, “Reader’s Advisory and Bibliotherapy: Helping or Healing?”, Journal of Educational Media and Library Sciences 41, no. 2 (2003): 177. 3. Lauren Myracle, “Molding the Minds of the Young: The History of Bibliotherapy as Applied to Children and Adolescents,” The ALAN Review 22, no. 2 (1995): 36–40. 4. Betty K. Gubert, “Sadie Peterson Delaney:Pioneer Bibliotherapist,” American Libraries 24, no. 2 (1993): 127. 5. Ibid., 127. 6. Ibid., 125. 7. William. C. Menninger, A Psychiatrist for a Troubled World: Selected Papers of William C. Menninger, M.D. (New York: Viking Press, 1967): 316. 8. Ibid, 317. 9. Ray Wolpow and Eunice N. Askov, “Widened Frameworks and Practice: From Bibliotherapy to the Literacy of Testimony and Witness,” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 44 (7): 606. 10. Rhea Joyce Rubin, Using Bibliotherapy: A Guide to Theory and Practice (Phoenix: Oryx Pr., 1978), 34. 11. Ibid. 12. Ibid. 13. Pieter Cuijpers, “Bibliotherapy in Unipolar Depression: A Meta-analysis,” Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 28 no. 2 (1997): 139–47; Robert J. Gregory et al., “Cognitive Bibliotherapy for Depression: a Meta-analysis,” Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 35 no. 3(2004): 275–80. 14. Mark Floyd, “Bibliotherapy as an Adjunctto Psychotherapy for Depression in Older Adults,” JCLP/In Session: Psychotherapy inPractice 59, no. 2 (2003): 187–95. 15. Timothy R. Apodaca and William. R. Miller, “A Meta-analysis of the Effectiveness of Bibliotherapy for Alcohol Problems,” Journal of Clinical Psychology 59, no. 3 (2003): 289–304. 16. G. A. R. Febbraro, “An Investigation into the Effectiveness of Bibliotherapy and Minimal Contact Interventions in the Treatment of Panic Attacks,” Journal of Clinical Psychology 61, no 6 (2005): 763–79. 17. Floyd, “Bibliotheraphy as an Adjunct to Psychotherapy for Depression in Older Adults.” 18. Personal interview with Dr. Cindy Scott, May 9, 2006. 19. Ibid. 20. Ibid. 21. Shifra Baruchson-Arbib, “Bibliotherapy in School Libraries: An Israeli Experiment,” School Libraries Worldwide 6, no. 2 (2000): 102–10. 22. Ibid., 103. 23. Ibid., 105. 24. Barbara E. Lenkowsky and Ronald S. Lenkowsky, “Bibliotherapy for the LD Adolescent,” Academic Therapy 14, no. 2 (1978): 179–85. 25. Renee CB Manworren and Barbara Woodring, “Evaluating Children’s Literature as a Source for Patient Education,” Pediatric Nursing 24, no. 6 (1998): 548–53. 26. Kim Amer, “Bibliotherapy: Using Fiction to Help Children in Two Populations Discuss Feelings,” Pediatric Nursing 25,no. 3 (1999): 91–95. 27. Ibid. 28. Cynthia Voigt, Solitary Blue (New York: Scholastic, 1983), 44. article by JAMI L. JONES, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Library Science and Instructional Technology at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Reading The Book of Promethea by Helene Cixous

Only up to page 64 and have to take it back to the library...

Quote from page 27

Writing is miraculous and terrifying like the flight of a bird who has no wings but flings itself out and only gets wings by flying.

From page 53

Our drama is that we live in a state of mutual invasion.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Joseph Gold THE STORY SPECIES quotes

Note: Minor editorial changes have been made to the original text to make the quotes here more readable. If a significant amount has been changed it will be noted as paraphrased.

Preface xxiii
We are rapidly reaching a time in human history when reading Literature as an antidote to depersonalization could become a subversive activity.
xxiv If we do not read, we do the work for them.
xxvi Human beings are supposed to use Literature to assist them to create a personal identity and to help them manage this identity's encounter with the world. Literature...a systematic feedback loop, continuously self-generating and cumulatively growing.

p. 4 What is story? What role does Literature play in human evolution and in individual lives? What role do the transferred words play in the biological and social life of readers? How is the product of reading stored in the body of the reader? Why is it that if a painting is burned it is gone forever, but a poem... can be memorized intact, unaltered and transmittable as long as a human brain retains it? What has taken place in the event that you take a novel off a shelf, read it, and return it? What "being" does the book (or rather its words) have, there on the shelf while not being read? Where does the power of a book lie? How is the process of transference achieved when it is being read? Why is some particular arrangement of words more effective to a particular reader than other arrangements?

 p. 5 Oddly enough, linguists, neurolinguists and psycholinguists have virtually ignored Literature in their researches into language. ...The answers to the sample questions I have posed above will only be found in a multi-disciplinary effort.

p. 7 We need to recognize and accept that language is a biological code that achieves molecular change in brain tissue; that organization of this code into stories is created by selection, transfer and association of data through immensely complex brain processes; that this happens both internally in one brain and in transfers from one brain to another; and that we need to consciously work for the expansion of this code in the service of our own selves. Works of Literature are coded models of experiential patterns in the brains of writers. They are specialized forms of neural potentials and never achieve physical mass, weight, dimension, colour or texture as do other works of art. Such words, of course, are used to describe literary works, but these words can mislead. A book is not the words, the marks on the pages, and the marks on the pages are not "things" either, but symbols of sounds. The sounds behind the words are, in turn, a code for sensory registers of data, data being the brain's responses to neural signals of incoming "out there" information. It is easy to be deceived by the "thingness" of a book, but "the map is not the territory." We will have to realize that qualities attributed to Literature, but borrowed from objects, are metaphors describing the mind of the reader decoding the text.

p. 8-9 ...the human organism is a collection of information made flesh, organized and energized into cellular activity, and continually modified by more and more information. The individual arrangement of this information is called identity. Identity is never complete because it is a process of response to, and accommodation of, new information which cannot stop until sensory activity itself stops at death. We must learn to remind ourselves continually that language is at its root metaphoric. ...Terms like "identity" and "information" are themselves metaphors for our awareness of internal change, our sense of being someone and knowing something. When we learn or know something new we have a mental and body sense of owning, internalizing that "something." We call this neural registration "information."

p. 13 Referencing Gregory Bateson: A story is a little knot or complex of that species of connectedness which we call relevance.

p. 18 The collection of kits we acquire through life experience, including the experience of our reading, becomes the "I" we carry around with us and into which we try to fit all new experience. It is this model version of ourselves made up of stored, coded experiences that seems to take on a powerful life of its own, our life story. This is our identity, and on the basis of this identity all our thought and behaviour take place. All its parts must be connected, and this drive to connect the parts forces us to work continuously to organize and reorganize the parts into a whole, a whole that is ever changing. In fact, the principal activity of human minds, moment to moment, is the fine tuning, the adjusting of this narrative.

p. 19 Referencing Terrence Deacon: At the level of what an individual knows, a language is very much like one's own personal symbiotic organism. ...this narrative "organism" is a second self that we create, layered over the first. the freedom to create this second self, this "I," lies the key to our well-being. It is this freedom that is the source of all effective therapy. Threats to our identity are the source of what we call noxious stress, experiences we live through that are difficult to incorporate into our "I."

p. 40 It is well-known in clinical therapy that if patients can be persuaded to write about their negative emotions, thoughts and experiences, they feel better and become healthier. ...Why is this? ...the writing step increases the sense of having externalized, put aside, filed away the negative emotional material carried in the body. Expression in writing is purgative. ...writing creates distance between first-hand experience and memory. The negative experience and its consequences are not forgotten, it is distanced and "objectified." It can now be viewed by neocortical processing, managed and integrated as part of a "filed" narrative. ...Putting the language of thought and feeling "out there" also involves a generalized sense of dissociation. ...useful for dysfunctional mental states...

p. 61-62 Reading Literature constitutes a very efficient behaviour for acquiring experience. ...reading story as experience is to realize experience imaginatively, in a pre-formed, pre-managed package. Literature is peculiarly suited for integration into the "I" formation by virtue of its story format...In the encounter between the self and the world, the "I" is created out of necessity, out of the need to adapt, to be effective. Success for human identity is really success at adaptation. ...reading story is the most powerful method for assisting change.

p. 63 Referencing Oliver Sacks: We have, each of us, a life-story, an inner narrative whose continuity, whose sense, is our lives. It might be said that each of us constructs and lives a "narrative," and that this narrative is us, our identities. If we wish to know about a man, we ask "what is his story--his real, inmost story?"--for each of us is a biography, a story. Each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us--through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and, not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations. Biologically, physiologically we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives--we are each of us unique.

p. 64 The "I" is our living, breathing, ever changing autobiography, the story of our lives. What we need to learn is that we can actively participate in the construction of this narrative of who we are. In composing this story each of us is inescapably an author and each creates the one living "book" that is our guide to everything. This guide gets "written" by taking in information assimilated by all our senses and converting it into a complex language code by our brains. This code is sequenced into stories of incidents, experiences, and responses involving both emotion and rational thought. Feeling and thought are in turn woven into a larger running narrative that creates identity, a composite account of the thoughts and feelings that become a filter through which we see all new experience. We come to rely on the stability of this filter. We count on the fact that we will wake up each morning with this narrative intact.

p. 70 ...a well-integrated identity must take account of and accommodate its emotional experience. Literature, born from the process of integrating thought and emotion, can be important to readers who can use it to assist their own such integration.

p. 71 The construction of an adaptive, functional identity ought to be much more prominent in psychotherapy than it is. The therapist would then function as an editor to the writing of the patient's story.

p. 81 Emotion is intimately involved in storing memories. Emotion makes events important and ensures that what is remembered best is stored along with its emotional associations. Stimuli, perhaps from reading, may evoke emotions related to past events. ...The stories that were important to us have (lost text...will have to reinput aghhh!)

Neuroscience & consciousness

Our consciousness is the essence of who we perceive ourselves to be. It is the citadel for our senses, the melting pot of thoughts, the welcoming home for every emotion that pricks or placates us. For us, consciousness simply is the currency of life.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

GLACIERS by Portland's Alexis M. Smith

Quote: We do not last, she thinks. In the end, only the stories survive.

Quiet story of longing by a Tin House New Voice author.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Left this short work wishing there were more than 26 letters in the alphabet. Short prosaic entries capture moments of a developing relationship and like good poetry say more in fewer words.

Quote: The key to a successful relationship isn't just in the words, it's in the punctuation. When you're in love with someone, a well-placed question mark can be the difference between bliss and disaster, and a deeply respected period or a cleverly inserted ellipsis can prevent all kinds of exclamations.

Quote: Knit me a sweater out of your best stories.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sunday, September 09, 2012

"What Kind of Reader Are You?" with slight editorial changes from The Atlantic Wire

For as many books as exist, there are also any number of different reading types a book lover (or even a book hater) might demonstrate. What kind are you? The Hate Reader. If you are a hate reader you will finish each hate read down to its very last word, and you may well close the covers and toss the volume across the room, but you will do it with a great, secret frisson of satisfaction because it feels so good. You may be an aspiring, disgruntled novelist yourself. Suggested hate reads: Twilight; Fifty Shades of Grey; any much-celebrated novelist's latest offering that's bound to be arguably less than all the hype. The Chronological Reader. You may not remember where you began, what the first book that kicked it all off was, and you likely have no idea where you'll end, but the point is, you will go through each book methodically and reasonably, until it is done. You might discard a book, but only if there is very good cause, and it will bring you a sense of deep unease, so you'll probably pick it back up and finish it anyway. Suggested chronological reads: It doesn't matter; you'll get to them all, eventually. The Book-Buster. Is your home strewn with books scattered about, this way and that, their pages turned, their covers folded over, their backs broken and their limbs splayed out on either side? t a paperback with a huge chunk pulled out of it, or a first edition that's suddenly waterlogged from bath water. You take your books out into the sun and their pages bleach away to nothing, but you keep them anyway, because they are books and you love books. Suggested book-buster reads: Whatever you like, but buy a Kindle. Delayed Onset Reader. You are without a doubt a book lover, and when you walk into a bookstore or any place books are available, you can't help yourself, you buy one or many. When you get home you put them aside, often reverently, as if they were art; When you finally do read, you are amazed that you waited so long to ever open it. Suggested delayed onset suggestions: The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman; The Princess Bride, by William Goldman; Lolita by Nabokov; Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery. The Bookophile. More than reading, you just love books. You like books rescued from the street as much as signed first editions. Suggested bookophile reads: Anything you can get your hands on. The Cross-Under. You are a grown-up who reads Y.A. or kids books, or a kid who reads adult books; you are not ruled by categories; you are a free thinker. When you were in elementary school a librarian told you a book was "Too old for you." You read it anyway, and there's been no going back. Suggested cross-under reads: For kids, Dickens, Fitzgerald, Salinger, Vonnegut, Harper Lee. For adults: Collins, Rowling, Alexie, Chbosky, Lowry. The Multi-Tasker. You are a promiscuous reader, and all in all, you've got quite a lot of irons in the fire all at the same time. Do you confuse characters or plots? Do you give more attention to some books than to others? Perhaps. The point is, you're not ready for a book commitment just yet. Suggested multi-tasking reads: Short story and essay collections, novellas. The Sleepy Bedtime Reader. Do you feel the only time you have to read is when you're about to go to sleep? You tote your book into bed with you and it's so very comfortable and the book is so deliciously good... Suggested sleepy bedtime reads: Whatever you like, you like falling asleep with a book on your face. The Book Snob. You only read books that are well reviewed by critics that you have determined to be of the highest caliber. You would never stoop to read something on a best-seller list, or something sold in a discount department store. Paperbacks offend you; you only touch hardcover—preferably, award-winning in some form or fashion. Suggested book snob reads: Pulitzer nominees, even if no Pulitzer was awarded. The Hopelessly Devoted. You stick to the authors you like, and you read them, pretty much exclusively, whatever they write, good or bad. Suggested devoted reads: This really depends on you. For me, it's Doris Lessing. The Audiobook Listener. There's a place for you, person whose ears are essentially eyes. Suggested listens: Refer to types per visual readers. The Conscientious Reader. It's nonfiction or nothing for you. You like reporting, true tales, and journalism. If it is fiction, make it by Chinua Achebe. Suggested conscientious reads: Books by presidents; stuff about OccupyWall Street; Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand. The Critic. You love something that you can sink your teeth into and discuss. But only with those of a similar intellectual bent. Suggested critic reads: Janet Malcolm's The Journalist and the Murderer; anything by Haruki Murakami. The Easily Influenced Reader. You enjoy reading in group settings. Suggested easily influenced reads: Cheryl Strayed's Wild; Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue; Caitlin Moran's How to Be a Woman; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Just because a lot of people recommend them doesn't mean they're not great! The All-the-Timer/Compulsive/Voracious/Anything Goes Reader. Wherever you go, whatever you do, there's a book with you. It doesn't matter what it is, really, so long as there are pages with words on them, or an e-reader with words on it. We can't really suggested anything here because you took it with you to the grocery store or subway or library or laundromat or coffee shop, and you're standing in line or sitting down and reading it right now. The Sharer. You loan people booksand tha t is a good quality. We like you, book sharer. Suggested sharables: Anything you read and liked, obviously, but also stuff you don't like, because you might as well pass it along to someone who might enjoy it more than you did. The Re-Reader. You know what you like, and instead of branching out and possibly finding something new that you don't like, you focus on what you do. You read the same books over and over again, returning to them as if they're old friends. Suggested re-readables: You already know. The "It's Complicated" Reader. You are a combination of many of these things and yet completely different, too. Each book means a new type of reader exists in your soul; you refuse to be defined or categorized. You are a freeform, wild, woolly entity. You do whatever you want. You're probably a Pisces. You're definitely a reader. Suggested "it's complicated" reads: We dare not to go there. The Cat. You creep around the house all day and sneak peeks at all those large, paper things that your owner leaves lying about. Sometimes, if you're lucky, your owner has left one open, and you lie on top of it and let its smooth pages touch your whiskers. It is oddly comfortable, and deeply satisfying, particularly if it's in a spot in the sun, where you enjoy whiling away a whimsical afternoon. Your owner, who is an "It's Complicated" Bookophile type, fancies that you're actually reading the pages, but you're not. You're just lying on them. Humans are so weird. Suggested cat reads: This one looks nice and flat.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Guardian's bibliotherapeutic take

 A dose of prose: bibliotherapy | Books | The Observer

Some reports from people who have utilized the School of Life at 70 pounds (140$?) For a reading prescription. Really sounds like simple readers advisory as taught in basic library school MLIS programs. But, sadly, with all the budget cuts to libraries, there are few libraries that can employ professional level librarians with time to devote to such elegant pasttimes. They're far too busy writing grants and marketing the library to the masses in order to keep the doors open. So all in all, a valuable service.

Now if I could just talk them into bankrolling a chain here in Portland with me at the helm.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Delaney & Shrodes founding bibliotherapy librarians

 Bibliotherapy and Music Therapy | Scribd 

Stages of progress

 Bibliotherapy - Rehab Info 

Readers Advisory tool

 What Should I Read Next? Book recommendations from readers like you 

This resource is now very user friendly on my smartphone. I've only added a few random titles to the list, but from there you can sign up for your own account (free) and have a go at creating your own readers advisory resource center.

BTW, I mostly use the library rather than purchase titles and use the amazon database for informational purposes only.

Alain de Botton interview Bibliotherapy and School of Life method

 Anxious? Depressed? Literate? Try Bibliotherapy | Think Tank | Big Think

Bibliotherapy is an alternative form of therapy that utilizes books and words to help you better understand issues that you are having and identify new coping skills that may be more effective in dealing with stressors. In many cases, writing is an essential tool as well, allowing you to explore your own story and truths through the fiction and nonfiction stories of others.

Bibliotherapy can be a powerful addition to your treatment program and provide you with a unique avenue toward healing and recovery. Contact us today to speak with a counselor who can direct you to a mental health treatment program that offers bibliotherapy. *Individual Bibliotherapy vs. Group Bibliotherapy Individual bibliotherapy sessions allow you to focus on your own interpretation of the text and share your personal writing with your bibliotherapist.
Group bibliotherapy sessions give you the opportunity to hear the unique view of others who have read the same text, which could provide you with insight into your own issues that you may not otherwise hear.

Bibliotherapy Stages of Progress
As you read through a text that is meaningful to you, bibliotherapists believe that you experience: Identification. One of the characters or the primary situation in the book is familiar to you. Catharsis. You become bonded to the characters and emotionally go through their experiences with them. Awareness and understanding. You recognize your own issues, perceptions, and the effects of those choices within the context of the story and learn coping skills that are more effective.

*What Do You Read in Bibliotherapy?
The choice in literature will depend upon a number of different factors, including: Your preference in reading material
Your bibliotherapist’s area of expertise
 Your disorder
 The specific symptom with which you are struggling

 Writing and Bibliotherapy
 Though reading is the foundation of bibliotherapy, exploration of the text as it relates to your experience through writing is where the real therapeutic healing happens. You can write as much or as little as you want about passages that stand out to you or specific experiences within the book that mirror your own. The reading may trigger you to write out a memory that you feel is pertinent to the issues you’re working through, or you may choose to write out how you would have handled the situation differently than the character or what you learned from the character’s choices. Share the most meaningful sections of your writing at your bibliotherapy session.

Therapy Homework
Bibliotherapy is one of the few therapies that will practically require that you do work for your session outside of treatment. Though some therapies will ask you to practice coping mechanisms or notate specific events or details about those events, these actions are easily incorporated into your schedule. It’s possible to focus your bibliotherapy sessions on short readings done with the therapist with time set aside for you to write your response and then share it. However, it is far more time- and cost-effective for you to do your reading and writing for each session at home.

Is Bibliotherapy Right for You or Someone You Love? Most often used with children, bibliotherapy can be effective because it offers a vehicle of exploration in situations where it may be difficult or awkward to verbalize problems. For young children, the text may be read to them and they may draw pictures instead of write about their thoughts.

Alain de Botton interview Literature's power to reorient & rewire thought patterns

 Anxious? Depressed? Literate? Try Bibliotherapy | Think Tank | Big Think
Bibliotherapy Bibliotherapy is an alternative form of therapy that utilizes books and words to help you better understand issues that you are having and identify new coping skills that may be more effective in dealing with stressors. In many cases, writing is an essential tool as well, allowing you to explore your own story and truths through the fiction and nonfiction stories of others. Bibliotherapy can be a powerful addition to your treatment program and provide you with a unique avenue toward healing and recovery. Contact us today to speak with a counselor who can direct you to a mental health treatment program that offers bibliotherapy. *Individual Bibliotherapy vs. Group Bibliotherapy Individual bibliotherapy sessions allow you to focus on your own interpretation of the text and share your personal writing with your bibliotherapist. Group bibliotherapy sessions give you the opportunity to hear the unique view of others who have read the same text, which could provide you with insight into your own issues that you may not otherwise hear. Bibliotherapy Stages of Progress As you read through a text that is meaningful to you, bibliotherapists believe that you experience: Identification. One of the characters or the primary situation in the book is familiar to you. Catharsis. You become bonded to the characters and emotionally go through their experiences with them. Awareness and understanding. You recognize your own issues, perceptions, and the effects of those choices within the context of the story and learn coping skills that are more effective. *What Do You Read in Bibliotherapy? The choice in literature will depend upon a number of different factors, including: Your preference in reading material Your bibliotherapist’s area of expertise Your disorder The specific symptom with which you are struggling Writing and Bibliotherapy Though reading is the foundation of bibliotherapy, exploration of the text as it relates to your experience through writing is where the real therapeutic healing happens. You can write as much or as little as you want about passages that stand out to you or specific experiences within the book that mirror your own. The reading may trigger you to write out a memory that you feel is pertinent to the issues you’re working through, or you may choose to write out how you would have handled the situation differently than the character or what you learned from the character’s choices. Share the most meaningful sections of your writing at your bibliotherapy session. Therapy Homework Bibliotherapy is one of the few therapies that will practically require that you do work for your session outside of treatment. Though some therapies will ask you to practice coping mechanisms or notate specific events or details about those events, these actions are easily incorporated into your schedule. It’s possible to focus your bibliotherapy sessions on short readings done with the therapist with time set aside for you to write your response and then share it. However, it is far more time- and cost-effective for you to do your reading and writing for each session at home. Is Bibliotherapy Right for You or Someone You Love? Most often used with children, bibliotherapy can be effective because it offers a vehicle of exploration in situations where it may be difficult or awkward to verbalize problems. For young children, the text may be read to them and they may draw pictures instead of write about their thoughts.

Quality of thought defines bibliotherapy

 Bibliotherapy: How Books Can Treat Anxiety, Depression - The Huffington Post 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Reader's Block by David Markson

A novel, hmmm, definitely novel but not narrative. Rather an accumulation of trivia, flotsam and jetsom, from a lifetime of reading and study. One reads as if reading one's personal notes, discontinuous and disjointed, all the while aware of a unifying consciousness.

I don't think I could have read the book without my smartphone handy. I looked up most of the entries in foreign languages and some of the people whose names were linked to topics or other people of interest. But lots was just ignored, reminding me of the way I would skip over words I didn't know the meaning of when I was learning to read. Sometimes in order to get through a text you just have to accept that you may not get it all.

Reading READER'S BLOCK suggests following a thread, somewhere in the warp meaning is loosely woven. Nonlinear narrative? Are we experiencing a new literary genre? I felt a cross-link between memoir and journalism (think tweets rather than editorials.)

For bibliotherapeutic purposes, I can see the benefits of collecting random bits from reading in a journal for purposes of cross-referencing themes in the same manner as in dream journaling. "Know thyself" by themes revealed while reading.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bellwether by Connie Willis (1996)

"Poincare had believed creative thought was a process of inducing inner chaos to achieve a higher level of equilibrium" or self-organized criticality, as we learned earlier in the novel.

Diagram-Map-Story color coded for date vector and incidence is the solution our heroine stumbles upon while interacting with a recalcitrant child to find patterns in massive amounts of data.

The storyline reminds me of many of the themes W. Gibson has explored in his more recent novels. Willis has written a light novel (bit of romance, bit of humor) built on examining scientific theory, just the way my science illiterate brain likes to learn it. And I may try a diagram-map-story myself sometime.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Fiction as simulation

 OnFiction: Fourth Anniversary, and Experience-taking

A rose by any other name: bibliotherapy. . .

Lisa Rivero Is that all there is?

 What Does It All Mean? | Psychology Today

Rivero mainstreams bibliotherapy in a nutshell. Only complaint is, once again, references are to how this works to help children with no mention that same methodology applies to adults. Suggests adults have answers whereas existential questions tend to be lifelong explorations in multiplicity and evolving points of view. We can all benefit from "creative reading" regardless of age or level of maturity (since reading level seems to be more indicative of the latter than the former.)

One writer on bibliotherapy

 Lisa Rivero | Tag Archive | bibliotherapy 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

American Counseling Assoc "Getting Unstuck" American Counseling Association Presentation - 3/21/2010 Getting Unstuck: Creative Healing Approaches Program Description Creative interventions combine the tenets of expressive therapies with the principle of brain(neuro-)plasticity. Neuroscientists know that the human brain continues to grow and reorganize over the course of a lifetime. Counselors can use these principles to interrupt patternedknowledge and thoughts. Using novelty of the creative arts, right-brain (a.k.a. unconscious)“information” will surface, interact, and alter the predictable and known. Talk therapy tends to review previously-learned information and calls on left-brain logic. Conversely, expressive therapies offer novelty through a task that does not call on logic. Creative approaches integrate regions of both right and left hemisphere to help form new neural pathways. A review the work of Ernest Rossi, PhD (Diplomat Clinical Psychology) and Daniel Siegel, M.D.(National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow) provides theoretical basis for the program. Siegel’s work suggests that non-linear thinking, in particular slower, contemplative brain waves, access lesser-used portions of the right-hemisphere where emotional intelligence is thought to reside. Rossi trained as a psychologist but is also a scholar of neuroscience and molecular biology. Promoting the idea of brain plasticity, Rossi examines how “Art, beauty (Beauty), and truth lead to gene expression, giving rise to new proteins and new connections in the brain.” PROGRAM OVERVIEW ~ Getting Unstuck ~ Creative Healing Approaches A. Therapy Assumptions • Therapy is a creative endeavor. • Client problems are ineffective adaptations. • Solutions lie within the client. ! • Positive outcomes require creative thinking by counselor and the client. B. Change Assumptions! • Therapy is the process of learning; a.k.a. - changing the mind. • Learning requires the development of new neuropathways. • Unfamiliar (novel) information stimulates new genes, cells, and neuropathways, which incites learning. • The growth potential exists so long as the brain is alive. • Learning is enhanced when it is multimodal, collaborative, and embodied. I. Expressive Therapies • What Do They Have In Common? ! ! Words to Remember  Contemplative  Unusual & Unexpected  Experiential & Embodied ! ! ! • What is Creativity Anyhow?  Imaginative! ! ! ! ! !  Novel  Original & Unique  Resourceful II. Something Known – Something Unknown ! • Left Brain Knowing – A frog is a frog is a frog. • The Sign Mind ! ! ! Labels Things  Logical Linear Practiced – Rule Bound  Knows language • Right Brain Learning – Do you know what this is? ! ! • The Design Mind  Simultaneous  Constructs Patterns – Recognizes gestalt  Deals with complexity  Interprets unknown, unrecognized information  Concepts without languages ! • Split Brain Research & The Corpus Callosum ! ! ! ! ! ! ! • You Put Your Whole Brain In  Orchestration of Two Separate Brains - Design Mind & Sign Ming  Teamwork Between Logic & Emotion Partnership Of Left & Right Hemisphere ! ! ! Accesses Right Hemisphere & Alpha Brain Waves Day Dreaming Searching Gestalt & Memory Concept Formation Info Stored for Later Idea Image Takes Passed Over New Idea Takes Shape Conversation With Left Hemisphere New Learned Behavior or Concept III. Favorable Conditions For Growth & Learning ! • A - HA Moments – Synaptic Connection ! ! • Quiet Mind ! • Ambiguity & The Associative Human Mind • Brain Wave Activity – Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta ! • Contemplative Activity Activates Alpha Brain Waves ! ! • What Spawns The Contemplative ?  ambiguity  imagery  metaphor  rhythm  music ! ! • Novelty Activates - Right Brain (Alpha Brain Waves) ! • Truth, Art, & Beauty Awaken & Feed The Mind. IV.Expressive Therapy and Creative Homework (see related handout)!! A Sampling of Expressive Therapy (Contemplative & Experiental)!  Art /PhotoTherapy  Movement/Dance Therapy  Play, Puppets, Drama, Psychodrama Therapy  Music Therapy  Poetry Therapy/Narrative Therapy  Hypnotherapy/Guided Imagery  Gestalt  Experiential/Active Metaphor V. Therapist Development! ! ! ! ! Cultivate Your Creative Energy!  Develop Your “right mind.”  Take time for art, beauty, truth & novelty.  Learn to take risks – Rollo May “The Courage to Create.”  Commit to experiential sessions: Embrace spontaneous possibilities.  Recognize the creative impulses in your clients – Play to them. Play with them.! ! Wave Frequency Associated Mental State Beta 12hz - 38hz Wide awake. This is generally the mental state most people are in during the day and most of their waking lives. Usually, this state in itself is uneventful, but don't underestimate its importance. Many people lack sufficient Beta activity, which can cause mental or emotional disorders such as depression, ADD and insomnia. Stimulating Beta activity can improve emotional stability, energy levels, attentiveness and concentration. Alpha 8hz - 12hz Awake but relaxed and not processing much information. When you get up in the morning and just before sleep, you are naturally in this state. When you close your eyes your brain automatically starts producing more Alpha waves. Alpha is usually the goal of experienced meditators, but to enter it using NP2 is incredibly easy. Since Alpha is a very receptive, absorbent mental state, you can also use it for effective self-hypnosis, mental re-programming, accelerated learning and more. Theta 3hz - 8hz Light sleep or extreme relaxation. Theta can also be used for hypnosis, accelerated learning and self-programming using pre-recorded suggestions. Delta 0.2hz - 3hz Deep, dreamless sleep. Delta is the slowest band of brainwaves. When your dominant brainwave is Delta, your body is healing itself and "resetting" its internal clocks. You do not dream in this state and are completely unconscious. Therapeutic Continuity Expressive Homework Ideas Creative Therapy Some Possible Themes Examples of Homework Art Sketches & Doodles Themes: Discovery. Solutions, Self-Awareness, Creative Energy • Portrait of the Real Me. • Sketches From My Future. • Overcoming The Demon. Collage Themes: Discovery. Solutions, Self-Awareness, Creative Energy • Images of Self. • Childhood Dreams. • Smiles. Photography Taking Photos Existing Photo Albums Themes: Discovery, Memory, Appreciation of Nature & Beauty, Creative Energy • Images of Light or Beauty. • Children at Play. • Moments of Joy-present or historic. Movement Organized Fitness Classes Yoga Tai Chi, Qigong Themes: Self-confidence, Self & Body-Awareness, Fitness, Socialization, Concentration. • Sample classes to find a good fit. • Practice yoga, tai chi etc. at home. Dance & Rhythm Organized Classes Practice & Play at Home Themes: Self-confidence, Self & Body-Awareness, Fitness, Socialization, Concentration. • Sign up for a class. • Dance With the Broom. • Drumming. Music & Rhythm Listen, Participate, Write Music Themes: Self-confidence, Self Awareness, Voice & Personal Expression, Socialization, • Sing in the Shower. • Join a choir, chorus. • Discover lyrics that speak to you. Poetry Read, Write, Respond To Poems Themes: Growth, Development, Overcoming Hardship & Grief. Personal & Creative Expression. • Ten Poems To Change Your Life (Roger Housden, 2001.) • Write List Poems:“I Say Yes to . . .” • “Multitude of Gratitude.” Bibliotherapy & Cinematherapy Reading Articles or Books, Watching Videos or Film Themes: Growth, Development, Overcoming Hardship & Grief, Understand Human Experiences Watch “Field Of Dreams.” • Read Ordinary People. (J. Guest) • Self - Help Article or Book. Journaling & Creative Writing Train of Thought Writing (free) Unsent Letters, Lists, Dialogues Themes: Growth, Development, Overcoming Hardship & Grief. Personal & Creative Expression • The Artist’s Way (Julia Cameron.) • Journal To The Self (Adams.) • “One Time I Found My Way.” •“Ten Things I Can Do Today.” Active Metaphors Embodied Learning Sculpting Themes: Growth, Overcoming Doubt, Fear, or Guilt. Empowerment, Extinguish or Practice a Behavior, Embody A Positive Attribute. • Burning “Old Tapes.” • Plant Seeds • Coin-Toss Walk (coin determines the route.) • Collect Symbols of Identity. • Give a Gift Each Day Psychodrama Fantasy Roles Themes: Family Therapy, Self- Awareness, Empowerment, Empathy, Spontaneity, Personal Expression. • Make a Mask – try wearing it. • Pretend you are brave today. • Join an Improv group. Play Therapy & Sandtray Miniatures - Costumes Puppets - Games Themes: Empowerment, Self- Awareness, Healing Crisis & Trauma, Communication • Solve arguments with foam swords. • Create Shadow-Box Solutions. • Draw pictures of empowering play. Hypnotherapy Guided Imagery Relaxation Themes: Overcoming Anxiety & Phobias, Physical & Emotional Well-Being, Habit Control • Recorded Session of Guided Visualization or Muscle Relaxation. • Meditation. • Yoga Nedra & Qigong Practice. Note: Sample Themes are limited by space. Expressive Therapies work with a multitude of issues. Who ever said that expressing feelings makes us weak? Who said it is best to keep problems to yourself? When did we start believing that “acting strong” is a virtue? The Truth Suppressed negative emotions, like toxic waste, erode mental and physical health. Feelings – good or bad – are a normal part of living. Expressing troublesome emotions opens the door to relief. James Pennebaker1 has conducted extensive research into the value of expressing emotions after trauma. Keeping it in yields recurrent unwanted thoughts, higher levels of anxiety and depression, insomnia, and a variety of health problems. Pennebaker’s researchers measured blood pressure, pulse, white blood count, and reported illness before and after writing about painful experiences and troubling emotions. The studies follow subjects for 6 months after they write for 20 minutes on two consecutive days. Pennebaker found that writers who experienced traumas, including those who committed crime, received powerful physical and psychological benefits from Opening Up. In a similar vein, the researchers discovered that people suffer more health problems when they fail to express their emotional pain and sadness when grieving a loved one. Those who talked (or wrote) about the death experienced fewer health concerns. These studies help us understand the connections between emotional distress and health. Writing about trauma reduces trauma’s stress on physical and emotional health systems. Similarly journaling about personal secrets removes the shame from those secrets. The process of writing helps make sense of negative life events. Pennebaker outlines a writing protocol to encourage physical and mental healing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From intro to Literary Seductions

Though i don't agree with many of ideas presented in chapters following the intro, there are some good references and quotes in Frances Wilson's opening. She is obviously a good researcher, though I think somewhat narrow in her analyses.

Anyway, some of the good bits:

"Reading, Barthes observes, is like those other solitary acts, praying and masturbation. ...We all indulge in the psychic dissolution of space when we read, the experience of being neither 'here or there', as Michele de Certeau says of the reader straddled between the inside of the book and the outside of the other world, 'one or the other...simultaneously inside and outside, dissolving both by mixing them together'. ...Freud felt hysteria was a loss of one's place in one's story, the letting-go of a narrative structure vital to one's sense of self. The task of the psychoanalyst is to enable the patient not to distinguish between fiction and reality but to recognize - and to read - the shape of the fiction she gives to experience. ...Laura Riding said 'poems are born of the tension between saying everything and saying nothing.'"

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Zazen by Portland author Vanessa Veselka

Reading ZAZEN was not comfortable, not reassuring, not simple. Compexity in thought and language. Sensitive approach to universal angst experienced especially for today's youth. Defining quotes:

"It was like the world had broken open and nothing was hidden anymore, like we were crawling all over it like salamanders."

Published by Cursor


An interesting & innovative "publishing community" worth checking out

"I also knew what it was like to be somewhere foreign, waiting for the person you used to be to show up."

"...symbols...the only real language...history is really just a map of the destruction and creation of symbols."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Poetic Medicine favorite links 

Creative Writing Center training specs 

Poetry psychotherapy in SF bay area

"In a therapeutic environment, the trained facilitator addresses the healing elements of poetry: form and shape, metaphor, metamessage, the words chosen, and the sounds of the words together (alliteration and assonance). These elements, in association with each other, carry the weight of many feelings and messages at once, creating a link from the secret internal world to external reality, from the unconscious to the conscious.
Because a poem has a border, a frame, or structure, as opposed to prose, the form itself is a safety net. Strong emotions will not run off the page. A poetry therapist might ask his/her clients to draw a box in the center of the paper and write the words inside. Metamessage implies the ability to carry several messages in one line that “strike at deeper levels of awareness than overt messages” (Murphy, 69). Through the capacity to convey multi-messages, clients are able to experience merging as well as individuation/separation."

"Gregory Orr talks about “The Two Survivals”-survival of the poet, in that the poet struggles to engage with the disorder to write a poem, and in the act of writing, “bring order to disorder.” The other survival is that of the reader, who connects with poems that “enter deeply into” him or her, leading to “sympathetic identification of reader with writer.” (Orr, 83-84)

" In poetry therapy with groups or individuals, poems are never edited. Editing belongs in a poetry-for-craft setting."


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


90 degrees is a hard angle


Demanding full attention

In philosophy we agree

To disagree


We speak


And square off


Lines drawn

Lightly in the sand



The war

I should have known

As my spirit plummeted

And my mood mourned

After that first year

Culminating with lucky

Bats' ammoniaed guano

Deposits thick as thugs

Or locusts of

disgruntled housewives

Weilding their lack

Of knowledge like

Dull swords rusted

From disuse

While daggers

Their tongues

Told razored lies

Weapons of spies

And cowards

We battled every inch

Of change

Until i lost


In the war


The magician made

Birds from dollar bills

His assistant wore a sari

Of secrets and silk

Knotted mysteriously

Tucked to bind securely

He spoke of Pisces

Commonbirths bred by

Beltane fires

And of Leos

More rare

Children of last hopes

Before winter's

Brewing despair

This magic man

Illusion drawn

From dreams

More real made memory

A singularity

Outside the realm

Of possibility

In a poorly lit life

Of scarcity


Night skulls

One bareboned face

Locked in horror

Eschewing grace

Repeated across

Reams of

Childhood dreams

The death years later

Wished on you

You died and died

And died

Until morning

When i saw you

I knew

You had long given up

The ghost

Simply suffering

The body as

Convenient host

As you communed

Until monsooned

In the blood

Wednesday, May 02, 2012



Bruised to pleasure

Women dreaming dreams

Their looking glass

Knowledge increases


When the city sleeps

The future and the maps

Hide something I was

Waiting for

Green roads to the forest

0ak, a host,


All things forget

Far below

Deeper sunniness

In the bottom of

My mind

I cannot find

The place

I am searching


Naked I go

Sore afraid

Through the darkness

I am the fear

That frightens me

A woman sings

Mystery of song

Strings remembrance

Heart of me weeps

Sages of absurdity

Worm content

Declining memories

Imagination's labyrinth

Translunar delirium

I took these words and phrases from random poems but don't know what came from where other than they werw in Six Centuries of Great Poetry. I haven't organized them but i like the way they fall together synchronistically. i think there's a poem here somewhere.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Michele Cassou & Stewart Cubley quote

"Creation is never about changing yourself it is about meeting yourself, probing deep into your own core. Creation wants only to fulfill your deepest desire: to know and accept yourself as you are."

Poetry Is Quote

"Poetry is about slowing's about reading the same thing again and again, really savoring it, living inside the poem. There's no rush to find out what happens in a poem. It's really about feeling one syllable rubbing against another, one word giving way to another, and sensing the justice of that relationship bewteen one word, the next, the next, the next." -Mark Strand

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Belleview Literary Review 

Emotional communion provided by literature


NY Times article says writing groups are replacing traditional therapy.

 "The waning of psychotherapy has clear roots in the rise of psychopharmacology. Drug companies have been hard at work over the past three decades, marketing meds to troubleshoot our faulty brain chemistry. As managed care has compelled more and more psychiatrists to trade their notebooks for prescription pads, the classic image of the patient on the couch has been replaced by a man with a pill in his palm.
The ascent of creative-writing, particularly in an age dominated by the impatient pursuit of visual stimulation, might seem harder to explain. But my sense is that people remain desperate for the emotional communion provided by literature."

Monday, April 09, 2012

Don't Trust that Particular Flavor

William Gibson's collections of essays may not be new to diehard fans as they have all been previously published over the course of the last few decades, the oldest being "Rocket Radio" from 1989 Rolling Stone. But there is one quote that you may not have noticed that speaks beautifully to our topic of bibliotherapy.

At a talk given in NYC at Book Expo in 2010, Gibson said: "A book exists at the intersection of the author's subconscious and the reader's response." And later goes on to thank his audience of readers for shaping his career. Very cool.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Shakespeare quotes - Much Ado About Nothing & Twelth Night

"There was a star danced, and under that was I born." Much Ado About Nothing, 2.1

Twelth Night "If music be the food of love, play on."

 "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them."

 "Better a witty fool that a foolish wit"

 “In nature there's no blemish but the mind; None can be called deformed but the unkind: Virtue is beauty, but the beauteous evil Are empty trunks, o'erflourished by the devil.”

Twelth Night "Love sought is good, but giv'n unsought is better" Act III, Scene I

Shakespeare quote - As You Like It

"Sweet are the uses of adversity, Which like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head; And this our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in every thing." - William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2.1 "And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe, And then from hour to hour we rot and rot; And thereby hangs a tale." - William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2.7 "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms. And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard; Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything." - William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2.7 "Can one desire too much of a good thing?" - William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 4.1 "Your 'if' is the only peacemaker; much virtue in 'if'." - William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 5.4 "Hope is a waking dream." - William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Epilogue

Shakespeare quotes - Hamlet

"All that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1.2 "Give thy thoughts no tongue." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1.3 "Brevity is the soul of wit." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 2.2 "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 2.2 "What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!" - William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 2.2 "To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heartache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to,-'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub: For in that sleep of death what dreams may come," - William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 3.1 "O, woe is me, To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!" - William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 3. 1 "Our wills and fates do so contrary run That our devices still are overthrown." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 3.2 "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 3.3 "Assume a virtue, if you have it not. That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat, Of habits devil, is angel yet in this." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 3.4 "A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 4.3 "Let Hercules himself do what he may, The cat will mew and dog will have his day." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet 5.1 "There's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet 5.2 "If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, Absent thee from felicity awhile, And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain, To tell my story." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet 5.2 "The rest is silence." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet 5.2

Bibliotherapy for romance readers 

Fun and probaby cathartic. I have to admit, as a librarian, i have censored romance novels from our collection. But not because of the smut, because of the incredibly bad writing. I may have missed a trend toward improved calibre of authors who devote themselves to this genre. And, I have always thought that romance novels were women's porn. Good on the wymyn of Vaginal Fantasy for tackling the bodice ripper.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Lesser known Bronte

Finished reading Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Emily and Charlotte's lesser known, though more prolific, sister Anne Bronte. This is an excellent resource as a preventative measure for misaligned or misdirected affection. Our heroine falls in love with the intention of improving her beloved spiritually and ethically, i.e., to save him from himself (where haven't we seen this before), only to find herself dredged through the mud of intesifying levels of degradation. I found it comforting, oddly enough, to learn that the women continue to take on this sisyphean task diametrically opposed to their own well-being generation after generation. The nobler sex is not just hype, though we have our share of debasing examples, women aspire to inspire in proverbial ranks of musing angels.

Anne Bronte wrote a feminist treatise that still speaks to us through centuries of a steady trickle of women who demand quarter for their worth (not a quarter, but recompense in equal measure.) At 3/4 the wage earning power of men, we continue to gain independence from perhaps ourselves and our own charitable intensions as much as anything or any one else.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Poetry Archive (by theme) (by poetic form) Note the glossary of poetic terms as well as search by author or title Create an account and save lists of favorites. Make your own Bibliotherapeutic Self-Help file. Poems by form If you're interested in a traditional form, this Search page makes it quick and easy for you to find examples. (Click on the "by form" link above for examples of the following: allegory anapaestic ballad blank couples couplets dactyls dialect dialogue elegy end epigram ghazal haiku kenning limericks monologue monorhyme narrative nonsense octave ode parody play poem prose quatrains rap rhyme rhyming riddle rubaiyat satire sequence sestina short song sonnet syllabics tercets test verse villanelle word

Outline for Creative Reading

Creative Reading Journaling Dreams Gestalt Catharsis Character dev Writing Poetry Fiction Prose NF Illustration Doodle Collage Transfer Text based Other kinds of reading Charts Maps Timelines Cards Colors Gems Knots Flowers Runes Music Signs Symbols Metaphor Dreams Theory Deconstruction - In describing deconstruction, Derrida famously observed that "there is nothing outside the text." That is to say, all of the references used to interpret a text are themselves texts, including the "text" of reality as a reader knows it. There is no true objective, non-textual reference from which interpretation can begin. Reader Response – Wolfgang Iser, Norman Holland, Stanley Fish Active Imagination – Marie-Louise von Franz Groups Self-actualization Transactional theory – Louise Rosenblatt

Thursday, March 29, 2012

List of Cliches


In A Dark Time In a dark time, the eye begins to see, I meet my shadow in the deepening shade; I hear my echo in the echoing wood-- A lord of nature weeping to a tree, I live between the heron and the wren, Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den. What's madness but nobility of soul At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire! I know the purity of pure despair, My shadow pinned against a sweating wall, That place among the rocks--is it a cave, Or winding path? The edge is what I have. A steady storm of correspondences! A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon, And in broad day the midnight come again! A man goes far to find out what he is-- Death of the self in a long, tearless night, All natural shapes blazing unnatural light. Dark,dark my light, and darker my desire. My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly, Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I? A fallen man, I climb out of my fear. The mind enters itself, and God the mind, And one is One, free in the tearing wind. ~by Theodore Roethke We are the time. We are the famous We are the time. We are the famous metaphor from Heraclitus the Obscure. We are the water, not the hard diamond, the one that is lost, not the one that stands still. We are the river and we are that greek that looks himself into the river. His reflection changes into the waters of the changing mirror, into the crystal that changes like the fire. We are the vain predetermined river, in his travel to his sea. The shadows have surrounded him. Everything said goodbye to us, everything goes away. Memory does not stamp his own coin. However, there is something that stays however, there is something that bemoans. ~by Jorge Luis Borges The Four Ages of Man 1.1 Lo now! four other acts upon the stage, 1.2 Childhood, and Youth, the Manly, and Old-age. 1.3 The first: son unto Phlegm, grand-child to water, 1.4 Unstable, supple, moist, and cold's his Nature. 1.5 The second: frolic claims his pedigree; 1.6 From blood and air, for hot and moist is he. 1.7 The third of fire and choler is compos'd, 1.8 Vindicative, and quarrelsome dispos'd. 1.9 The last, of earth and heavy melancholy, 1.10 Solid, hating all lightness, and all folly. 1.11 Childhood was cloth'd in white, and given to show, 1.12 His spring was intermixed with some snow. 1.13 Upon his head a Garland Nature set: 1.14 Of Daisy, Primrose, and the Violet. 1.15 Such cold mean flowers (as these) blossom betime, 1.16 Before the Sun hath throughly warm'd the clime. 1.17 His hobby striding, did not ride, but run, 1.18 And in his hand an hour-glass new begun, 1.19 In dangers every moment of a fall, 1.20 And when 'tis broke, then ends his life and all. 1.21 But if he held till it have run its last, 1.22 Then may he live till threescore years or past. 1.23 Next, youth came up in gorgeous attire 1.24 (As that fond age, doth most of all desire), 1.25 His Suit of Crimson, and his Scarf of Green. 1.26 In's countenance, his pride quickly was seen. 1.27 Garland of Roses, Pinks, and Gillyflowers 1.28 Seemed to grow on's head (bedew'd with showers). 1.29 His face as fresh, as is Aurora fair, 1.30 When blushing first, she 'gins to red the Air. 1.31 No wooden horse, but one of metal try'd: 1.32 He seems to fly, or swim, and not to ride. 1.33 Then prancing on the Stage, about he wheels; 1.34 But as he went, death waited at his heels. 1.35 The next came up, in a more graver sort, 1.36 As one that cared for a good report. 1.37 His Sword by's side, and choler in his eyes, 1.38 But neither us'd (as yet) for he was wise, 1.39 Of Autumn fruits a basket on his arm, 1.40 His golden rod in's purse, which was his charm. 1.41 And last of all, to act upon this Stage, 1.42 Leaning upon his staff, comes up old age. 1.43 Under his arm a Sheaf of wheat he bore, 1.44 A Harvest of the best: what needs he more? 1.45 In's other hand a glass, ev'n almost run, 1.46 This writ about: This out, then I am done. 1.47 His hoary hairs and grave aspect made way, 1.48 And all gave ear to what he had to say. 1.49 These being met, each in his equipage 1.50 Intend to speak, according to their age, 1.51 But wise Old-age did with all gravity 1.52 To childish childhood give precedency, 1.53 And to the rest, his reason mildly told: 1.54 That he was young, before he grew so old. 1.55 To do as he, the rest full soon assents, 1.56 Their method was that of the Elements, 1.57 That each should tell what of himself he knew, 1.58 Both good and bad, but yet no more then's true. 1.59 With heed now stood, three ages of frail man, 1.60 To hear the child, who crying, thus began. Childhood. 2.1 Ah me! conceiv'd in sin, and born in sorrow, 2.2 A nothing, here to day, but gone to morrow, 2.3 Whose mean beginning, blushing can't reveal, 2.4 But night and darkness must with shame conceal. 2.5 My mother's breeding sickness, I will spare, 2.6 Her nine months' weary burden not declare. 2.7 To shew her bearing pangs, I should do wrong, 2.8 To tell that pain, which can't be told by tongue. 2.9 With tears into this world I did arrive; 2.10 My mother still did waste, as I did thrive, 2.11 Who yet with love and all alacity, 2.12 Spending was willing to be spent for me. 2.13 With wayward cries, I did disturb her rest, 2.14 Who sought still to appease me with her breast; 2.15 With weary arms, she danc'd, and By, By, sung, 2.16 When wretched I (ungrate) had done the wrong. 2.17 When Infancy was past, my Childishness 2.18 Did act all folly that it could express. 2.19 My silliness did only take delight, 2.20 In that which riper age did scorn and slight, 2.21 In Rattles, Bables, and such toyish stuff. 2.22 My then ambitious thoughts were low enough. 2.23 My high-born soul so straitly was confin'd 2.24 That its own worth it did not know nor mind. 2.25 This little house of flesh did spacious count, 2.26 Through ignorance, all troubles did surmount, 2.27 Yet this advantage had mine ignorance, 2.28 Freedom from Envy and from Arrogance. 2.29 How to be rich, or great, I did not cark, 2.30 A Baron or a Duke ne'r made my mark, 2.31 Nor studious was, Kings favours how to buy, 2.32 With costly presents, or base flattery; 2.33 No office coveted, wherein I might 2.34 Make strong my self and turn aside weak right. 2.35 No malice bare to this or that great Peer, 2.36 Nor unto buzzing whisperers gave ear. 2.37 I gave no hand, nor vote, for death, of life. 2.38 I'd nought to do, 'twixt Prince, and peoples' strife. 2.39 No Statist I: nor Marti'list i' th' field. 2.40 Where e're I went, mine innocence was shield. 2.41 My quarrels, not for Diadems, did rise, 2.42 But for an Apple, Plumb, or some such prize. 2.43 My strokes did cause no death, nor wounds, nor scars. 2.44 My little wrath did cease soon as my wars. 2.45 My duel was no challenge, nor did seek. 2.46 My foe should weltering, with his bowels reek. 2.47 I had no Suits at law, neighbours to vex, 2.48 Nor evidence for land did me perplex. 2.49 I fear'd no storms, nor all the winds that blows. 2.50 I had no ships at Sea, no fraughts to loose. 2.51 I fear'd no drought, nor wet; I had no crop, 2.52 Nor yet on future things did place my hope. 2.53 This was mine innocence, but oh the seeds 2.54 Lay raked up of all the cursed weeds, 2.55 Which sprouted forth in my insuing age, 2.56 As he can tell, that next comes on the stage. 2.57 But yet me let me relate, before I go, 2.58 The sins and dangers I am subject to: 2.59 From birth stained, with Adam's sinful fact, 2.60 From thence I 'gan to sin, as soon as act; 2.61 A perverse will, a love to what's forbid; 2.62 A serpent's sting in pleasing face lay hid; 2.63 A lying tongue as soon as it could speak 2.64 And fifth Commandment do daily break; 2.65 Oft stubborn, peevish, sullen, pout, and cry; 2.66 Then nought can please, and yet I know not why. 2.67 As many was my sins, so dangers too, 2.68 For sin brings sorrow, sickness, death, and woe, 2.69 And though I miss the tossings of the mind, 2.70 Yet griefs in my frail flesh I still do find. 2.71 What gripes of wind, mine infancy did pain? 2.72 What tortures I, in breeding teeth sustain? 2.73 What crudities my cold stomach hath bred? 2.74 Whence vomits, worms, and flux have issued? 2.75 What breaches, knocks, and falls I daily have? 2.76 And some perhaps, I carry to my grave. 2.77 Sometimes in fire, sometimes in water fall: 2.78 Strangely preserv'd, yet mind it not at all. 2.79 At home, abroad, my danger's manifold 2.80 That wonder 'tis, my glass till now doth hold. 2.81 I've done: unto my elders I give way, 2.82 For 'tis but little that a child can say. Youth. 3.1 My goodly clothing and beauteous skin 3.2 Declare some greater riches are within, 3.3 But what is best I'll first present to view, 3.4 And then the worst, in a more ugly hue, 3.5 For thus to do we on this Stage assemble, 3.6 Then let not him, which hath most craft dissemble. 3.7 Mine education, and my learning's such, 3.8 As might my self, and others, profit much: 3.9 With nurture trained up in virtue's Schools; 3.10 Of Science, Arts, and Tongues, I know the rules; 3.11 The manners of the Court, I likewise know, 3.12 Nor ignorant what they in Country do. 3.13 The brave attempts of valiant Knights I prize 3.14 That dare climb Battlements, rear'd to the skies. 3.15 The snorting Horse, the Trumpet, Drum I like, 3.16 The glist'ring Sword, and well advanced Pike. 3.17 I cannot lie in trench before a Town, 3.18 Nor wait til good advice our hopes do crown. 3.19 I scorn the heavy Corslet, Musket-proof; 3.20 I fly to catch the Bullet that's aloof. 3.21 Though thus in field, at home, to all most kind, 3.22 So affable that I do suit each mind, 3.23 I can insinuate into the breast 3.24 And by my mirth can raise the heart deprest. 3.25 Sweet Music rapteth my harmonious Soul, 3.26 And elevates my thoughts above the Pole. 3.27 My wit, my bounty, and my courtesy 3.28 Makes all to place their future hopes on me. 3.29 This is my best, but youth (is known) alas, 3.30 To be as wild as is the snuffing Ass, 3.31 As vain as froth, as vanity can be, 3.32 That who would see vain man may look on me: 3.33 My gifts abus'd, my education lost, 3.34 My woful Parents' longing hopes all crost; 3.35 My wit evaporates in merriment; 3.36 My valour in some beastly quarrel's spent; 3.37 Martial deeds I love not, 'cause they're virtuous, 3.38 But doing so, might seem magnanimous. 3.39 My Lust doth hurry me to all that's ill, 3.40 I know no Law, nor reason, but my will; 3.41 Sometimes lay wait to take a wealthy purse 3.42 Or stab the man in's own defence, that's worse. 3.43 Sometimes I cheat (unkind) a female Heir 3.44 Of all at once, who not so wise, as fair, 3.45 Trusteth my loving looks and glozing tongue 3.46 Until her friends, treasure, and honour's gone. 3.47 Sometimes I sit carousing others' health 3.48 Until mine own be gone, my wit, and wealth. 3.49 From pipe to pot, from pot to words and blows, 3.50 For he that loveth Wine wanteth no woes. 3.51 Days, nights, with Ruffins, Roarers, Fiddlers spend, 3.52 To all obscenity my ears I bend, 3.53 All counsel hate which tends to make me wise, 3.54 And dearest friends count for mine enemies. 3.55 If any care I take, 'tis to be fine, 3.56 For sure my suit more than my virtues shine. 3.57 If any time from company I spare, 3.58 'Tis spent in curling, frisling up my hair, 3.59 Some young Adonais I do strive to be. 3.60 Sardana Pallas now survives in me. 3.61 Cards, Dice, and Oaths, concomitant, I love; 3.62 To Masques, to Plays, to Taverns still I move; 3.63 And in a word, if what I am you'd hear, 3.64 Seek out a British, bruitish Cavalier. 3.65 Such wretch, such monster am I; but yet more 3.66 I want a heart all this for to deplore. 3.67 Thus, thus alas! I have mispent my time, 3.68 My youth, my best, my strength, my bud, and prime, 3.69 Remembring not the dreadful day of Doom, 3.70 Nor yet the heavy reckoning for to come, 3.71 Though dangers do attend me every hour 3.72 And ghastly death oft threats me with her power: 3.73 Sometimes by wounds in idle combats taken, 3.74 Sometimes by Agues all my body shaken; 3.75 Sometimes by Fevers, all my moisture drinking, 3.76 My heart lies frying, and my eyes are sinking. 3.77 Sometimes the Cough, Stitch, painful Pleurisy, 3.78 With sad affrights of death, do menace me. 3.79 Sometimes the loathsome Pox my face be-mars 3.80 With ugly marks of his eternal scars. 3.81 Sometimes the Frenzy strangely mads my Brain 3.82 That oft for it in Bedlam I remain. 3.83 Too many's my Diseases to recite, 3.84 That wonder 'tis I yet behold the light, 3.85 That yet my bed in darkness is not made, 3.86 And I in black oblivion's den long laid. 3.87 Of Marrow full my bones, of Milk my breasts, 3.88 Ceas'd by the gripes of Serjeant Death's Arrests: 3.89 Thus I have said, and what I've said you see, 3.90 Childhood and youth is vain, yea vanity. Middle Age. 4.1 Childhood and youth forgot, sometimes I've seen, 4.2 And now am grown more staid that have been green, 4.3 What they have done, the same was done by me: 4.4 As was their praise, or shame, so mine must be. 4.5 Now age is more, more good ye do expect; 4.6 But more my age, the more is my defect. 4.7 But what's of worth, your eyes shall first behold, 4.8 And then a world of dross among my gold. 4.9 When my Wild Oats were sown, and ripe, and mown, 4.10 I then receiv'd a harvest of mine own. 4.11 My reason, then bad judge, how little hope 4.12 Such empty seed should yield a better crop. 4.13 I then with both hands graspt the world together, 4.14 Thus out of one extreme into another, 4.15 But yet laid hold on virtue seemingly: 4.16 Who climbs without hold, climbs dangerously. 4.17 Be my condition mean, I then take pains 4.18 My family to keep, but not for gains. 4.19 If rich, I'm urged then to gather more 4.20 To bear me out i' th' world and feed the poor; 4.21 If a father, then for children must provide, 4.22 But if none, then for kindred near ally'd; 4.23 If Noble, then mine honour to maintain; 4.24 If not, yet wealth, Nobility can gain. 4.25 For time, for place, likewise for each relation, 4.26 I wanted not my ready allegation. 4.27 Yet all my powers for self-ends are not spent, 4.28 For hundreds bless me for my bounty sent, 4.29 Whose loins I've cloth'd, and bellies I have fed, 4.30 With mine own fleece, and with my household bread. 4.31 Yea, justice I have done, was I in place, 4.32 To cheer the good and wicked to deface. 4.33 The proud I crush'd, th'oppressed I set free, 4.34 The liars curb'd but nourisht verity. 4.35 Was I a pastor, I my flock did feed 4.36 And gently lead the lambs, as they had need. 4.37 A Captain I, with skill I train'd my band 4.38 And shew'd them how in face of foes to stand. 4.39 If a Soldier, with speed I did obey 4.40 As readily as could my Leader say. 4.41 Was I a laborer, I wrought all day 4.42 As cheerfully as ere I took my pay. 4.43 Thus hath mine age (in all) sometimes done well; 4.44 Sometimes mine age (in all) been worse than hell. 4.45 In meanness, greatness, riches, poverty 4.46 Did toil, did broil; oppress'd, did steal and lie. 4.47 Was I as poor as poverty could be, 4.48 Then baseness was companion unto me. 4.49 Such scum as Hedges and High-ways do yield, 4.50 As neither sow, nor reap, nor plant, nor build. 4.51 If to Agriculture I was ordain'd, 4.52 Great labours, sorrows, crosses I sustain'd. 4.53 The early Cock did summon, but in vain, 4.54 My wakeful thoughts up to my painful gain. 4.55 For restless day and night, I'm robb'd of sleep 4.56 By cankered care, who sentinel doth keep. 4.57 My weary breast rest from his toil can find, 4.58 But if I rest, the more distrest my mind. 4.59 If happiness my sordidness hath found, 4.60 'Twas in the crop of my manured ground: 4.61 My fatted Ox, and my exuberous Cow, 4.62 My fleeced Ewe, and ever farrowing Sow. 4.63 To greater things I never did aspire, 4.64 My dunghill thoughts or hopes could reach no higher. 4.65 If to be rich, or great, it was my fate. 4.66 How was I broil'd with envy, and with hate? 4.67 Greater than was the great'st was my desire, 4.68 And greater still, did set my heart on fire. 4.69 If honour was the point to which I steer'd, 4.70 To run my hull upon disgrace I fear'd, 4.71 But by ambitious sails I was so carried 4.72 That over flats, and sands, and rocks I hurried, 4.73 Opprest, and sunk, and sack'd, all in my way 4.74 That did oppose me to my longed bay. 4.75 My thirst was higher than Nobility 4.76 And oft long'd sore to taste on Royalty, 4.77 Whence poison, Pistols, and dread instruments 4.78 Have been curst furtherers of mine intents. 4.79 Nor Brothers, Nephews, Sons, nor Sires I've spar'd. 4.80 When to a Monarchy my way they barr'd, 4.81 There set, I rid my self straight out of hand 4.82 Of such as might my son, or his withstand, 4.83 Then heapt up gold and riches as the clay, 4.84 Which others scatter like the dew in May. 4.85 Sometimes vain-glory is the only bait 4.86 Whereby my empty school is lur'd and caught. 4.87 Be I of worth, of learning, or of parts, 4.88 I judge I should have room in all men's hearts; 4.89 And envy gnaws if any do surmount. 4.90 I hate for to be had in small account. 4.91 If Bias like, I'm stript unto my skin; 4.92 I glory in my wealth I have within. 4.93 Thus good, and bad, and what I am, you see, 4.94 Now in a word, what my diseases be: 4.95 The vexing Stone, in bladder and in reins, 4.96 Torments me with intolerable pains; 4.97 The windy cholic oft my bowels rend, 4.98 To break the darksome prison, where it's penn'd; 4.99 The knotty Gout doth sadly torture me, 4.100 And the restraining lame Sciatica; 4.101 The Quinsy and the Fevers often distaste me, 4.102 And the Consumption to the bones doth waste me, 4.103 Subject to all Diseases, that's the truth, 4.104 Though some more incident to age, or youth; 4.105 And to conclude, I may not tedious be, 4.106 Man at his best estate is vanity. Old Age. 5.1 What you have been, ev'n such have I before, 5.2 And all you say, say I, and something more. 5.3 Babe's innocence, Youth's wildness I have seen, 5.4 And in perplexed Middle-age have been, 5.5 Sickness, dangers, and anxieties have past, 5.6 And on this Stage am come to act my last. 5.7 I have been young, and strong, and wise as you 5.8 But now, Bis pueri senes is too true. 5.9 In every Age I've found much vanity. 5.10 An end of all perfection now I see. 5.11 It's not my valour, honour, nor my gold, 5.12 My ruin'd house, now falling can uphold; 5.13 It's not my Learning, Rhetoric, wit so large, 5.14 Now hath the power, Death's Warfare, to discharge. 5.15 It's not my goodly house, nor bed of down, 5.16 That can refresh, or ease, if Conscience frown; 5.17 Nor from alliance now can I have hope, 5.18 But what I have done well, that is my prop. 5.19 He that in youth is godly, wise, and sage 5.20 Provides a staff for to support his age. 5.21 Great mutations, some joyful, and some sad, 5.22 In this short Pilgrimage I oft have had. 5.23 Sometimes the Heavens with plenty smil'd on me, 5.24 Sometimes, again, rain'd all adversity; 5.25 Sometimes in honour, sometimes in disgrace, 5.26 Sometime an abject, then again in place: 5.27 Such private changes oft mine eyes have seen. 5.28 In various times of state I've also been. 5.29 I've seen a Kingdom flourish like a tree 5.30 When it was rul'd by that Celestial she, 5.31 And like a Cedar others so surmount 5.32 That but for shrubs they did themselves account. 5.33 Then saw I France, and Holland sav'd, Calais won, 5.34 And Philip and Albertus half undone. 5.35 I saw all peace at home, terror to foes, 5.36 But ah, I saw at last those eyes to close, 5.37 And then, me thought, the world at noon grew dark 5.38 When it had lost that radiant Sun-like spark. 5.39 In midst of griefs, I saw some hopes revive 5.40 (For 'twas our hopes then kept our hearts alive); 5.41 I saw hopes dash't, our forwardness was shent, 5.42 And silenc'd we, by Act of Parliament. 5.43 I've seen from Rome, an execrable thing, 5.44 A plot to blow up Nobles and their King. 5.45 I've seen designs at Ree and Cades cross't, 5.46 And poor Palatinate for every lost. 5.47 I've seen a Prince to live on others' lands, 5.48 A Royal one, by alms from Subjects' hands. 5.49 I've seen base men, advanc'd to great degree, 5.50 And worthy ones, put to extremity, 5.51 But not their Prince's love, nor state so high, 5.52 Could once reverse, their shameful destiny. 5.53 I've seen one stabb'd, another lose his head, 5.54 And others fly their Country through their dread. 5.55 I've seen, and so have ye, for 'tis but late, 5.56 The desolation of a goodly State. 5.57 Plotted and acted so that none can tell 5.58 Who gave the counsell, but the Prince of hell. 5.59 I've seen a land unmoulded with great pain, 5.60 But yet may live to see't made up again. 5.61 I've seen it shaken, rent, and soak'd in blood, 5.62 But out of troubles ye may see much good. 5.63 These are no old wives' tales, but this is truth. 5.64 We old men love to tell, what's done in youth. 5.65 But I return from whence I stept awry; 5.66 My memory is short and brain is dry. 5.67 My Almond-tree (gray hairs) doth flourish now, 5.68 And back, once straight, begins apace to bow. 5.69 My grinders now are few, my sight doth fail, 5.70 My skin is wrinkled, and my cheeks are pale. 5.71 No more rejoice, at music's pleasant noise, 5.72 But do awake at the cock's clanging voice. 5.73 I cannot scent savours of pleasant meat, 5.74 Nor sapors find in what I drink or eat. 5.75 My hands and arms, once strong, have lost their might. 5.76 I cannot labour, nor I cannot fight: 5.77 My comely legs, as nimble as the Roe, 5.78 Now stiff and numb, can hardly creep or go. 5.79 My heart sometimes as fierce, as Lion bold, 5.80 Now trembling, and fearful, sad, and cold. 5.81 My golden Bowl and silver Cord, e're long, 5.82 Shall both be broke, by wracking death so strong. 5.83 I then shall go whence I shall come no more. 5.84 Sons, Nephews, leave, my death for to deplore. 5.85 In pleasures, and in labours, I have found 5.86 That earth can give no consolation sound 5.87 To great, to rich, to poor, to young, or old, 5.88 To mean, to noble, fearful, or to bold. 5.89 From King to beggar, all degrees shall find 5.90 But vanity, vexation of the mind. 5.91 Yea, knowing much, the pleasant'st life of all 5.92 Hath yet amongst that sweet, some bitter gall. 5.93 Though reading others' Works doth much refresh, 5.94 Yet studying much brings weariness to th' flesh. 5.95 My studies, labours, readings all are done, 5.96 And my last period can e'en elmost run. 5.97 Corruption, my Father, I do call, 5.98 Mother, and sisters both; the worms that crawl 5.99 In my dark house, such kindred I have store. 5.100 There I shall rest till heavens shall be no more; 5.101 And when this flesh shall rot and be consum'd, 5.102 This body, by this soul, shall be assum'd; 5.103 And I shall see with these same very eyes 5.104 My strong Redeemer coming in the skies. 5.105 Triumph I shall, o're Sin, o're Death, o're Hell, 5.106 And in that hope, I bid you all farewell. ~by Anne Bradstreet