Week 5 – poem

Week 5 is about depression & bipolar disorder. Here is a poem shared on the first day.

I Am

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.

John Clare (1793–1864)


PTSD poem

A poem about the loss of a child from our PTSD week.


On the Death of my First and Dearest Child, Hector Philips, born the 23rd of April, and died the 2nd of May 1655

Twice forty months in wedlock I did stay,
Then had my vows crowned with a lovely boy.
And yet in forty days he dropped away;
O swift vicissitude of human joy!

I did but see him, and he disappeared,
I did but touch the rosebud, and it fell;
A sorrow unforeseen and scarcely feared,
So ill can mortals their afflictions spell.

And now (sweet babe) what can my trembling heart
Suggest to right my doleful fate or thee?
Tears are my muse, and sorrow all my art,
So piercing groans must be thy elegy.

Thus whilst no eye is witness of my moan,
I grieve thy loss (ah, boy too dear to live!)
And let the unconcerned world alone,
Who neither will, nor can refreshment give.

An offering too for thy sad tomb I have,
Too just a tribute to thy early hearse;
Receive these gasping numbers to thy grave,
The last of thy unhappy mother’s verse.

Katherine Philips (1632 – 1664)


Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
By: Wilfred Owen: The War Poems, ed. John Stallworthy, (Chatto & Windus, 1994)

Poetry – Grief

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My mind was going numb –

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here –

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –

Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)

Grief poem

A Valediction Forbidding Mourning

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say
The breath goes now, and some say, No:

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
‘Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th’ earth brings harms and fears,
Men reckon what it did, and meant;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love
(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
Those things which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refined,
That our selves know not what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to airy thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if the other do.

And though it in the center sit,
Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like th’ other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.

John Donne (1572–1631)

Bereavement poem

Surprised By Joy

Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind
I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom
But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind—
But how could I forget thee?—Through what power,
Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss!—That thought’s return
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

Short Story 2

(For our final assignment we had to create a short story. This one is my original draft, the one I submitted as my final assignment is titled “Jenny’s Journey” (Short Story 1) that I shared on my page)


Life with Teddy

Soft music began to slowly fill the room, signalling it was eight am and time to get up for the day. However, Jenny wasn’t ready to wake up yet, she had finally fallen asleep three hours ago after a long night of agony and several trips to the bathroom. She didn’t want to leave the comfort of her bed, moving caused her pain. It was like this every day for the last four years, ever since she was diagnose with Endometriosis at the young age of nineteen.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the familiar sound of claws on her bedroom floor, she turned her head to watch Teddy walk up the ramp and onto her bed. She had found the perfect way to get her dog up onto her bed without her having to lift him or him jumping on the bed, both of which caused her pain. Teddy knew the routine, he got down on his belly and slowly crawled his way up to Jenny. Once he had his head beside her, she carefully rolled over onto her side to cuddle her dog, this was the best part of the morning. If it wasn’t for her best friend, she wouldn’t get out of bed at all.

Three years ago Jenny was really struggling with her illness and feeling depressed. She could no longer work due to the pain and her friends had stopped talking to her the year before that. Moving around caused her a great deal of pain so she decided that she was going to stay in bed as much as possible. She bought a small TV for her room and only left the bed to go to the bathroom, to grab food or go to her doctor appointments. After a couple months, she began to experience pain in her feet and legs when she was standing for half an hour and after two hours she needed to sit down. When she started to experience pain around her hips two months later, she realized her new pains were from lack of movement. That made her feel even worse, moving was now agony, she didn’t know how she was going to get out of this vicious cycle she was in. One night when she was up late because of the pain, she decided to see if anyone was online in her internet support group. She ended up pouring her heart out to a member and afterwards, they suggest she get a pet to help her stay active and to help with the loneliness she was feeling. Jenny liked the idea and began to research smart dog breeds, she wanted one that would be able to fetch things for her if she needed it.

A week later Jenny had responded to an ad about English Setter puppies for sale and was now headed over to look at the puppies. She was able to find the house no problem, there was pen in the front yard that had 5 puppies playing around in it and a couple kids squealing in delight at the puppies piled onto each other. There were some adults off to the side quietly talking to themselves so Jenny decided to head over to the puppies and see if there was one she wanted to take home.

Chad had been talking to some people that were interested in buying one of his puppies when he first saw Jenny. Her fiery red hair appeared incandescent in the sun as she bent to pick up one of the puppies. He couldn’t help but smile as the puppy started to lick her face like it was covered in food and wiggle it’s body in excitement as she held the pup close. Chad excused himself and headed over to her to introduce himself and see if she had any questions. Her green eyes, as deep and endless as space met his and for a moment his breath caught in his throat, she had to be one of the most beautiful women he had seen.

“It looks like he really likes you a lot” Chad commented as the puppy cuddled up to her.

“Good cause I think I really like him a lot too” she happily replied as she continued to pet the puppy in her arms.

Chad decided to give her his number in case she had any problems but secretly he also hoped she would call to hang out. Jenny wasn’t like any other girl he had met, she seemed more laid back and she didn’t dress to impress, she wore what was comfortable and the confidence she had in that was hotter than a girl in a skin tight short black dress.

Jenny never regretted her decision that day, she loved her new best friend Teddy and was starting to get into a serious relationship with Chad, the guy she bought the puppy from. Now she had a reason to get out of bed everyday even though it hurt, Teddy was worth it. He never complained if she kept ranting about how much pain she was in and if she passed out on the bathroom floor after a long night of throwing up, he would cuddle up beside her. He was always there to comfort her when she needed it, she was never alone again.