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DRUGS & MEDICINE & LITERATURE

· Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Rime of the Ancient Mariner · William Wordsworth: The Tables Turned · Charles Bukowski: The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way. On Writers and Writing · Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire. A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character by Kay Redfield Jamison · Old Angel Midnight by Jack Kerouac · The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks · John Clare: Written in Northampton County Asylum · Oliver Sacks: On The Move. A Life · Barbara Zoeke: Die Stunde der Spezialisten · Barbara Zoeke: Die Stunde der Spezialisten · William Brewer: I Know Your Kind. Poems about the American opioid epidemic · Samuel Taylor COLERIDGE: Love

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Rime of the Ancient Mariner

 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Part I

It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
‘By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?

The bridegroom’s doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
Mayst hear the merry din.’

He holds him with his skinny hand,
“There was a ship,” quoth he.
‘Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!’
Eftsoons his hand dropped he.

He holds him with his glittering eye—
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years’ child:
The Mariner hath his will.

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

“The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.

The sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.

Higher and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon—”
The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.

The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.

The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
Yet he cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

“And now the storm-blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o’ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.

With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,
And foward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled.

And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold:
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.

And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken—
The ice was all between.

The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!

At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God’s name.

It ate the food it ne’er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!

And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner’s hollo!

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white moonshine.”

‘God save thee, ancient Mariner,
From the fiends that plague thee thus!—
Why look’st thou so?’—”With my crossbow
I shot the Albatross.”

Part II

“The sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.

And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariners’ hollo!

And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work ’em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow!

Nor dim nor red, like God’s own head,
The glorious sun uprist:
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
‘Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

Down dropped the breeze, the sails dropped down,
‘Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.

About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch’s oils,
Burnt green, and blue, and white.

And some in dreams assured were
Of the Spirit that plagued us so;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.

And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.

Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.”

Part III

“There passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! a weary time!
How glazed each weary eye—
When looking westward, I beheld
A something in the sky.

At first it seemed a little speck,
And then it seemed a mist;
It moved and moved, and took at last
A certain shape, I wist.

A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
And still it neared and neared:
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tacked and veered.

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could nor laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail!

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
Agape they heard me call:
Gramercy! they for joy did grin,
And all at once their breath drew in,
As they were drinking all.

See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more!
Hither to work us weal;
Without a breeze, without a tide,
She steadies with upright keel!

The western wave was all a-flame,
The day was well nigh done!
Almost upon the western wave
Rested the broad bright sun;
When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the sun.

And straight the sun was flecked with bars,
(Heaven’s Mother send us grace!)
As if through a dungeon-grate he peered
With broad and burning face.

Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
How fast she nears and nears!
Are those her sails that glance in the sun,
Like restless gossameres?

Are those her ribs through which the sun
Did peer, as through a grate?
And is that Woman all her crew?
Is that a Death? and are there two?
Is Death that Woman’s mate?

Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she,
Who thicks man’s blood with cold.

The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice;
‘The game is done! I’ve won! I’ve won!’
Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

The sun’s rim dips; the stars rush out:
At one stride comes the dark;
With far-heard whisper o’er the sea,
Off shot the spectre-bark.

We listened and looked sideways up!
Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
My life-blood seemed to sip!
The stars were dim, and thick the night,
The steersman’s face by his lamp gleamed white;
From the sails the dew did drip—
Till clomb above the eastern bar
The horned moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip.

One after one, by the star-dogged moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye.

Four times fifty living men,
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.

The souls did from their bodies fly,—
They fled to bliss or woe!
And every soul it passed me by,
Like the whizz of my crossbow!”

Part IV

‘I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand!
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.

I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
And thy skinny hand, so brown.’— Poem:
“Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!
This body dropped not down.

Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.

The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie;
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.

I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.

I looked to heaven, and tried to pray;
But or ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came and made
My heart as dry as dust.

I closed my lids, and kept them close,
And the balls like pulses beat;
Forthe sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky,
Lay like a load on my weary eye,
And the dead were at my feet.

The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
Nor rot nor reek did they:
The look with which they looked on me
Had never passed away.

An orphan’s curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high;
But oh! more horrible than that
Is the curse in a dead man’s eye!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.

The moving moon went up the sky,
And no where did abide:
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside—

Her beams bemocked the sultry main,
Like April hoar-frost spread;
But where the ship’s huge shadow lay,
The charmed water burnt alway
A still and awful red.

Beyond the shadow of the ship
I watched the water-snakes:
They moved in tracks of shining white,
And when they reared, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.

O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.

The selfsame moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.”

Part V

“Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!
To Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from heaven,
That slid into my soul.

The silly buckets on the deck,
That had so long remained,
I dreamt that they were filled with dew;
And when I awoke, it rained.

My lips were wet, my throat was cold,
My garments all were dank;
Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
And still my body drank.

I moved, and could not feel my limbs:
I was so light—almost
I thought that I had died in sleep,
And was a blessed ghost.

And soon I heard a roaring wind:
It did not come anear;
But with its sound it shook the sails,
That were so thin and sere.

The upper air burst into life!
And a hundred fire-flags sheen,
To and fro they were hurried about!
And to and fro, and in and out,
The wan stars danced between.

And the coming wind did roar more loud,
And the sails did sigh like sedge;
And the rain poured down from one black cloud;
The moon was at its edge.

The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
The moon was at its side:
Like waters shot from some high crag,
The lightning fell with never a jag,
A river steep and wide.

The loud wind never reached the ship,
Yet now the ship moved on!
Beneath the lightning and the moon
The dead men gave a groan.

They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise.

The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;
Yet never a breeze up blew;
The mariners all ‘gan work the ropes,
Where they were wont to do;
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools—
We were a ghastly crew.

The body of my brother’s son
Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pulled at one rope,
But he said nought to me.”

‘I fear thee, ancient Mariner!’
“Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest!
‘Twas not those souls that fled in pain,
Which to their corses came again,
But a troop of spirits blest:

For when it dawned—they dropped their arms,
And clustered round the mast;
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,
And from their bodies passed.

Around, around, flew each sweet sound,
Then darted to the sun;
Slowly the sounds came back again,
Now mixed, now one by one.

Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
I heard the skylark sing;
Sometimes all little birds that are,
How they seemed to fill the sea and air
With their sweet jargoning!

And now ’twas like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;
And now it is an angel’s song,
That makes the heavens be mute.

It ceased; yet still the sails made on
A pleasant noise till noon,
A noise like of a hidden brook
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune.

Till noon we quietly sailed on,
Yet never a breeze did breathe;
Slowly and smoothly went the ship,
Moved onward from beneath.

Under the keel nine fathom deep,
From the land of mist and snow,
The spirit slid: and it was he
That made the ship to go.
The sails at noon left off their tune,
And the ship stood still also.

The sun, right up above the mast,
Had fixed her to the ocean:
But in a minute she ‘gan stir,
With a short uneasy motion—
Backwards and forwards half her length
With a short uneasy motion.

Then like a pawing horse let go,
She made a sudden bound:
It flung the blood into my head,
And I fell down in a swound.

How long in that same fit I lay,
I have not to declare;
But ere my living life returned,
I heard and in my soul discerned
Two voices in the air.

‘Is it he?’ quoth one, ‘Is this the man?
By him who died on cross,
With his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless Albatross.

The spirit who bideth by himself
In the land of mist and snow,
He loved the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow.’

The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honey-dew:
Quoth he, ‘The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do.’

Part VI

First Voice
But tell me, tell me! speak again,
Thy soft response renewing—
What makes that ship drive on so fast?
What is the ocean doing?

Second Voice
Still as a slave before his lord,
The ocean hath no blast;
His great bright eye most silently
Up to the moon is cast—

If he may know which way to go;
For she guides him smooth or grim.
See, brother, see! how graciously
She looketh down on him.

First Voice
But why drives on that ship so fast,
Without or wave or wind?

Second Voice
The air is cut away before,
And closes from behind.

Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!
Or we shall be belated:
For slow and slow that ship will go,
When the Mariner’s trance is abated.

“I woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather:
‘Twas night, calm night, the moon was high;
The dead men stood together.

All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the moon did glitter.

The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away:
I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them up to pray.

And now this spell was snapped: once more
I viewed the ocean green,
And looked far forth, yet little saw
Of what had else been seen—

Like one that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.

But soon there breathed a wind on me,
Nor sound nor motion made:
Its path was not upon the sea,
In ripple or in shade.

It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
Like a meadow-gale of spring—
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming.

Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too:
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze—
On me alone it blew.

Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
The lighthouse top I see?
Is this the hill? is this the kirk?
Is this mine own country?

We drifted o’er the harbour-bar,
And I with sobs did pray—
O let me be awake, my God!
Or let me sleep alway.

The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
So smoothly it was strewn!
And on the bay the moonlight lay,
And the shadow of the moon.

The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
That stands above the rock:
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock.

And the bay was white with silent light,
Till rising from the same,
Full many shapes, that shadows were,
In crimson colours came.

A little distance from the prow
Those crimson shadows were:
I turned my eyes upon the deck—
Oh, Christ! what saw I there!

Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
And, by the holy rood!
A man all light, a seraph-man,
On every corse there stood.

This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
It was a heavenly sight!
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light;

This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart—
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.

But soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the Pilot’s cheer;
My head was turned perforce away,
And I saw a boat appear.

The Pilot and the Pilot’s boy,
I heard them coming fast:
Dear Lord in heaven! it was a joy
The dead men could not blast.

I saw a third—I heard his voice:
It is the Hermit good!
He singeth loud his godly hymns
That he makes in the wood.
He’ll shrieve my soul, he’ll wash away
The Albatross’s blood.”

Part VII

“This Hermit good lives in that wood
Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
He loves to talk with marineers
That come from a far country.

He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve—
He hath a cushion plump:
It is the moss that wholly hides
The rotted old oak-stump.

The skiff-boat neared: I heard them talk,
‘Why, this is strange, I trow!
Where are those lights so many and fair,
That signal made but now?’

‘Strange, by my faith!’ the Hermit said—
‘And they answered not our cheer!
The planks looked warped! and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere!
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were

Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
My forest-brook along;
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
That eats the she-wolf’s young.’

‘Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look—
(The Pilot made reply)
I am afeared’—’Push on, push on!’
Said the Hermit cheerily.

The boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirred;
The boat came close beneath the ship,
And straight a sound was heard.

Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread:
It reached the ship, it split the bay;
The ship went down like lead.

Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound,
Which sky and ocean smote,
Like one that hath been seven days drowned
My body lay afloat;
But swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the Pilot’s boat.

Upon the whirl where sank the ship
The boat spun round and round;
And all was still, save that the hill
Was telling of the sound.

I moved my lips—the Pilot shrieked
And fell down in a fit;
The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
And prayed where he did sit.

I took the oars: the Pilot’s boy,
Who now doth crazy go,
Laughed loud and long, and all the while
His eyes went to and fro.
‘Ha! ha!’ quoth he, ‘full plain I see,
The Devil knows how to row.’

And now, all in my own country,
I stood on the firm land!
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
And scarcely he could stand.

O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!
The Hermit crossed his brow.
‘Say quick,’ quoth he ‘I bid thee say—
What manner of man art thou?’

Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woeful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
And then it left me free.

Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns;
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.

I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.

What loud uproar bursts from that door!
The wedding-guests are there:
But in the garden-bower the bride
And bride-maids singing are;
And hark the little vesper bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer!

O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea:
So lonely ’twas, that God himself
Scarce seemed there to be.

O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
‘Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company!—

To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving friends,
And youths and maidens gay!

Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.”

The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone; and now the Wedding-Guest
Turned from the bridegroom’s door.

He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man
He rose the morrow morn.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1834)
Poem: Rime of the Ancient Mariner
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Coleridge, Coleridge, Samuel Taylor


William Wordsworth: The Tables Turned

 

The Tables Turned
(An Evening Scene on the Same Subject)

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you’ll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun, above the mountain’s head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There’s more of wisdom in it.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your Teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)
Poem: The Tables Turned
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive W-X, Wordsworth, Wordsworth, William


Charles Bukowski: The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way. On Writers and Writing

In The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way, Charles Bukowski considers the art of writing, and the art of living as writer.

Bringing together a variety of previously uncollected stories, columns, reviews, introductions, and interviews, Mathematics finds him approaching the dynamics of his chosen profession with cynical aplomb, deflating pretentions and tearing down idols armed with only a typewriter and a bottle of beer.

Beginning with the title piece—a serious manifesto disguised as off-handed remarks en route to the racetrack—Mathematics runs through numerous tales following the author’s adventures at poetry readings, parties, film sets, and bars, and also features an unprecedented gathering of Bukowski’s singular literary criticism.

From classic authors like Hemingway to underground legends like d.a. levy to his own stable of obscure favorites, Bukowski uses each occasion to expound on the larger issues around literary production.

The book closes with a handful of interviews in which he discusses his writing practices and his influences, making Mathematics a perfect guide to the man behind the myth and the disciplined artist behind the boozing brawler.

The method behind the madness, revealing the critical acumen of everyone’s favorite Dirty Old Man.

“Genius could be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way, or even to say a simple thing in a simpler way.”—Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany on August 16, 1920, the only child of an American soldier and a German mother. At the age of three, he came with his family to the United States and grew up in Los Angeles. He attended Los Angeles City College from 1939 to 1941, then left school and moved to New York City to become a writer. His lack of publishing success at this time caused him to give up writing in 1946 and spurred a ten-year stint of heavy drinking. After he developed a bleeding ulcer, he decided to take up writing again. He worked a wide range of jobs to support his writing, including dishwasher, truck driver and loader, mail carrier, guard, gas station attendant, stock boy, warehouse worker, shipping clerk, post office clerk, parking lot attendant, Red Cross orderly, and elevator operator. He also worked in a dog biscuit factory, a slaughterhouse, a cake and cookie factory, and he hung posters in New York City subways.

Bukowski published his first story when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. His first book of poetry was published in 1959; he went on to publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose, including Pulp (Black Sparrow, 1994), Screams from the Balcony: Selected Letters 1960-1970 (1993), and The Last Night of the Earth Poems (1992), and the following books with City Lights Publishers: Notes of a Dirty Old Man (1981), The Most Beautiful Woman in Town & Other Stories (1983), Tales of Ordinary Madness (1984), Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook: Uncollected Stories and Essays, 1944-1990 (2008), Absence of the Hero: Uncollected Stories and Essays, Vol. 2: 1946-1992 (2010), More Notes of a Dirty Old Man: The Uncollected Columns (2011), and The Bell Tolls for No One (2015). He died of leukemia in San Pedro on March 9, 1994.

Title: The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way
Subtitle: On Writers and Writing
Author: Charles Bukowski
Introduction by David Stephen Calonne
Edited by David Stephen Calonne
Publisher: City Lights Publishers
Format Paperback
ISBN-10 0872867595
ISBN-13 9780872867598
250 Pages
List Price $16.95
Publication Date 15 May 2018

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Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire. A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character by Kay Redfield Jamison

In this magisterial study of the relationship between illness and art, the best-selling author of An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison, brings an entirely fresh understanding to the work and life of Robert Lowell (1917-1977), whose intense, complex, and personal verse left a lasting mark on the English language and changed the public discourse about private matters.

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry, Robert Lowell put his manic-depressive illness (now known as bipolar disorder) into the public domain, creating a language for madness that was new and arresting. As Dr. Jamison brings her expertise in mood disorders to bear on Lowell’s story, she illuminates not only the relationships among mania, depression, and creativity but also the details of Lowell’s treatment and how illness and treatment influenced the great work that he produced (and often became its subject).

Lowell’s New England roots, early breakdowns, marriages to three eminent writers, friendships with other poets such as Elizabeth Bishop, his many hospitalizations, his vivid presence as both a teacher and a maker of poems—Jamison gives us the poet’s life through a lens that focuses our understanding of his intense discipline, courage, and commitment to his art. Jamison had unprecedented access to Lowell’s medical records, as well as to previously unpublished drafts and fragments of poems, and she is the first biographer to have spoken with his daughter, Harriet Lowell. With this new material and a psychologist’s deep insight, Jamison delivers a bold, sympathetic account of a poet who was—both despite and because of mental illness—a passionate, original observer of the human condition.

Kay Redfield Jamison is the Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders and a professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as well as an honorary professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She is the author of the national best sellers An Unquiet Mind, Night Falls Fast, and Touched with Fire, and is the coauthor of the standard medical text on bipolar disorder, Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression. Dr. Jamison is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh and is a recipient of the Lewis Thomas Prize, the Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the National Academy of Medicine, and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. She is married to Thomas Traill, a cardiologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire
A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character
By Kay Redfield Jamison
Literary Figure Biographies & Memoirs
Paperback
Feb 06, 2018
560 Pages
$18.95
Published by Vintage
ISBN 9780307744616

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Old Angel Midnight by Jack Kerouac

Old Angel Midnight is a treasure trove of Kerouac’s experiments with automatic writing, a method he practiced constantly to sharpen his imaginative reflexes.

Recorded in a series of notebooks between 1956-1959, what Kerouac called his “endless automatic writing piece” began while he shared a cabin with poet Gary Snyder.

Kerouac tried to emulate Snyder’s daily Buddhist meditation discipline, using the technique of “letting go” to free his mind for pure spontaneous writing, annotating the stream of words flowing through his consciousness in response to auditory stimuli and his own mental images.

Kerouac continued his exercise in spontaneous composition over the next three years, including a period spent with William Burroughs in Tangiers. He made no revisions to the automatic writing entries in his notebooks, which were collected and transcribed for publication as originally written.

Old Angel Midnight attests to the success of Kerouac’s experiment and bears witness to his commitment to his craft, and to the pleasure he takes in writing: “I like the bliss of mind.”

“Kerouac’s ambition to capture the living moment (crucially for him, recapitulating memory) developed poetic form in 1954 with his collection San Francisco Blues, and it reached greater fulfilment with the sixty-seven free-association passages of Old Angel Midnight. This new edition from City Light Books adds one more, found among Kerouac’s papers by John Sampas, concluding ‘Eyes of Ray Charles see Me here realize O Holy.’ Mostly written during April 1956 when Kerouac shared a shack with Gary Snyder in rural Mill Valley, outside San Francisco, Old Angel Midnight was likely facilitated by the ‘letting go’ technique he observed from Snyder’s Buddhist meditation.” – Jules Smith – The Times Literary Supplement

“Tried to warn all of you, essence of stuff wont do
— God why did you make the world?
Answer: –Because I gwt pokla renamash ta va in
ming the atss are you forever with it?
I like the bliss of mind.
Awright I’ll call up all the fuckin Gods, right now!
Parya! Arrive! Ya damn hogfuckin lick lip twillerin
fishmonger! Kiss my purple royal ass baboon! Poota!
Whore! You and yr retinues of chariots & fucks! Devadatta!
Angel of Mercy! Prick! Lover! Mush! Run on
ya dog eared kiss willying nilly Dexter Michigan ass—
warlerin ratpole! The rat in my cellar’s an old canuck who
wasnt fooled by rebirth but b God gotta admit I was born for
the same reason I bring this glass to my lip — ?
Rut! Old God whore, the key to ecstasy is forevermore
furthermore blind! Potanyaka! God of Mercy!”
Excerpt from ‘Old Angel Midnight’ by Jack Kerouac

Old Angel Midnight
Jack Kerouac
Preface by Ann Charters, Michael McClure
Collection City Lights/Grey Fox
Publisher City Lights Publishers
Paperback, $13.95
Pages 94
Publication 2016
ISBN-10 087286703X
ISBN-13 9780872867031

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The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks

From the best-selling author of Gratitude, On the Move, and Musicophilia, a collection of essays that displays Oliver Sacks’s passionate engagement with the most compelling and seminal ideas of human endeavor: evolution, creativity, memory, time, consciousness, and experience.

Oliver Sacks, a scientist and a storyteller, is beloved by readers for the extraordinary neurological case histories (Awakenings, An Anthropologist on Mars) in which he introduced and explored many now familiar disorders–autism, Tourette’s syndrome, face blindness, savant syndrome.

He was also a memoirist who wrote with honesty and humor about the remarkable and strange encounters and experiences that shaped him (Uncle Tungsten, On the Move, Gratitude).

Sacks, an Oxford-educated polymath, had a deep familiarity not only with literature and medicine but with botany, animal anatomy, chemistry, the history of science, philosophy, and psychology.

The River of Consciousness is one of two books Sacks was working on up to his death, and it reveals his ability to make unexpected connections, his sheer joy in knowledge, and his unceasing, timeless project to understand what makes us human.

Oliver Sacks was born in 1933 in London and was educated at Queen’s College, Oxford. He completed his medical training at San Francisco’s Mount Zion Hospital and at UCLA before moving to New York.

Familiar to the readers of The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, Dr. Sacks spent more than fifty years working as a neurologist and wrote many books, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Musicophilia, and Hallucinations, about the strange neurological predicaments and conditions of his patients.

The New York Times referred to him as “the poet laureate of medicine,” and over the years he received many awards, including honors from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal College of Physicians. His memoir On the Move was published shortly before his death in August 2015.

The River of Consciousness
By Oliver Sacks
Hardcover
Oct 24, 2017
256 Pages
$27.00
Published by Knopf
5-1/2 x 8-3/8
ISBN 9780385352567

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John Clare: Written in Northampton County Asylum

 

 Written in Northampton County Asylum

I am! yet what I am who cares, or knows?
My friends forsake me like a memory lost.
I am the self-consumer of my woes;
They rise and vanish, an oblivious host,
Shadows of life, whose very soul is lost.
And yet I am–I live–though I am toss’d

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dream,
Where there is neither sense of life, nor joys,
But the huge shipwreck of my own esteem
And all that ‘s dear. Even those I loved the best
Are strange–nay, they are stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man has never trod–
For scenes where woman never smiled or wept–
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Full of high thoughts, unborn. So let me lie,–
The grass below; above, the vaulted sky.

John Clare
(1793-1864)
Written in Northampton County Asylum

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Oliver Sacks: On The Move. A Life

When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: “Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far.”

It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy.

As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California, where he struggled with drug addiction, and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life.

With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions—weight lifting and swimming—also drives his cerebral passions.

He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists—Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick—who influenced him.

On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer—and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.

English:
On The Move:
A Life
Author: Oliver Sacks
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Published: 2015
ISBN-10: 0385352549
ISBN-13: 9780385352543
Format: Hardcover

In Dutch:
Oliver Sacks:
Onderweg
Nederlands
Uitg. De Bezige Bij
Vertaald door
Otto Biersma & Luud Dorresteijn
432 pagina’s
Verschijningsjaar 2016
ISBN10 9023499484
ISBN13 9789023499480

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Barbara Zoeke: Die Stunde der Spezialisten

Deutschland 1940: Max Koenig ist Professor für Altertumsforschung. Ein vererbtes Nervenleiden reißt ihn aus seinem beruflichen Leben und fort von seiner Familie.

Er kommt in die Wittenauer Heilstätten und trifft dort auf Schwester Rosemarie, die versucht zu helfen, wo sie kann. Trotz seiner Hinfälligkeit wird Koenig zum Mittelpunkt einer kleinen Gruppe: dem Studienrat Dr. Carl Hohein, der eine Litanei auf die Farbe »Schwarz« komponiert, der jungen Pianistin Elfie, deren Hände zittern und die »Traumdeutsch« spricht, und schließlich Oscar, einem Jungen mit Trisomie 21.

Der Alltag auf der Station, die mangelhaften Essensrationen und die rassenhygienischen Kommentare der medizinischen »Spezialisten« werden nur durch die gegenseitige Unterstützung und kleine Freuden, wie die Besuche von Frau und Schwägerin, erträglich. Sie hoffen darauf, sich nach dem Krieg im Traumland Italien wiederzufinden. Doch Max Koenig und Oscar werden verlegt und ihren Angehörigen entzogen.

Töten wird sie Dr. Friedel Lerbe, ein Arzt, SS-Mann und fanatischer Verfechter der Rassenhygiene. Als Leiter einer Tötungsanstalt führt er das NS-»Euthanasie«-Programm mit bürokratischer Präzision aus – jedes Detail des Ablaufs wird von ihm kontrolliert. Ein ganzer Stab von »Pflegern«, Sekretärinnen, Technikern und Leichenbrennern steht diesem »Spezialisten« bei seinem Handwerk zur Seite.

Barbara Zoeke schildert das Geschehen aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven – empathisch und erschütternd klar. Es gelingt ihr, dieses Verbrechen der Nationalsozialisten zu vergegenwärtigen und den Opfern, Angehörigen und Tätern eine literarische Stimme zu geben.

Barbara Zoeke erhält für ihren Roman „Die Stunde der Spezialisten“ den Brüder-Grimm-Preis 2017 der Stadt Hanau!
Die Preisverleihung findet am 17. November in der Hanauer Stadtbibliothek/Kulturforum Hanau statt. Die Laudatio auf die Preisträgerin wird der Literatur-Chef der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung Andreas Platthaus halten. Die Auszeichnung ist mit 10.000 Euro dotiert.

Die Jury mit Literaturkritikerin Dr. Insa Wilke, Literaturprofessor Professor Dr. Heiner Boehncke und dem ehemaligen Vorsitzenden des hessischen Bibliotheksverbandes Aloys Lenz MdL a.D. votierte nach eingehender Diskussion der eingereichten Veröffentlichungen einstimmig für das kürzlich im Verlag „Die Andere Bibliothek“ erschienene Buch. Der Magistrat der Stadt Hanau schloss sich einmütig dem Votum der Jury an.

Aus der Jury-Entscheidung:
„Barbara Zoekes Roman „Die Stunde der Spezialisten“ widmet sich einem in der deutschsprachigen Literatur immer noch auffällig selten erzählten Verbrechen der Nationalsozialisten: der Ermordung von Psychiatriepatienten und Behinderten, allgemein unter dem Euphemismus „Euthanasie“ bekannt. Autorinnen wie Olga Martynova und entfernt auch Angela Steidele haben sich zuletzt mit diesem Stoff auseinandergesetzt; Barbara Zoeke ist jedoch die erste Autorin, die wohl auch aufgrund ihrer psychiatrischen Praxis die besondere Sprache der Patienten in eine literarische verwandelt und ihnen so auf besondere Weise ein Denkmal setzt. Virtuos komponiert sie auf diese Weise aus den Stimmen der Opfer wie auch der Täter in je spezifischen Sprechweisen ein beklemmendes Kunstwerk in humanistischen Traditionen, das bei seinen Leserinnen und Lesern für einen inneren Aufruhr sorgt, wie ihn nur hervorragende literarische Werke hervorzubringen imstande sind. Die Jury sieht in der meisterlichen Sprache des Romans und dem sensiblen Umgang mit den unterschiedlichen Stimmen überdies eine Nähe zu dem Werk der Brüder Grimm, das sich auf der Grenze zwischen Archiv, Sprachforschung und Erzählen bewegt.“

Dr. Barbara Zoeke verbrachte ihre Kindheit im thüringischen Vogtland und studierte in Köln und Münster. Sie ist habilitierte Psychologin, forschte in den USA und war über mehrere Jahre im Vorstand der “International Society of Comparative Psychology”. Sie lehrte und forschte an den Universitäten von Münster, Frankfurt, Würzburg und München. Neben wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten zur Wahrnehmung und zum Gedächtnis veröffentlichte sie erzählende Prosa, Lyrik und Sachbuchtexte. Die Autorin lebt seit 2008 in Berlin.

Barbara Zoeke
Die Stunde der Spezialisten
Seitenanzahl: 300
Originalausgaben
Bandnummer: 393
Originalausgabe,
nummeriert und limitiert
Gestaltung: Lars Henkel.
Kunstvolle Collagen für Cover,
Bezug, Vor- und Nachsatzpapier.
Fadenheftung, Lesebändchen.
ISBN: 9783847703938
2017 – 42,00 EUR
Die Andere Bibliothek
10969 Berlin

#  website  die  andere  bibliothek     

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Barbara Zoeke: Die Stunde der Spezialisten

1940 ist Max Koenig Professor für Kunstgeschichte. Ein vererbtes Nervenleiden reißt ihn aus seinem be­ruflichen Leben und fort von seiner italienischen Frau und der kleinen Tochter. Er kommt in eine Heilanstalt nach Berlin ­Wittenau.

Trotz seiner Hinfälligkeit wird er zum Mittelpunkt einer kleinen Gruppe: einem Schizophrenen, der eine Litanei auf die Farbe »Schwarz« komponiert, einer jungen Pianistin, einer zierlichen Alzheimer frau und schließlich Oscar, einem Jungen mit Trisomie 21. Der Alltag auf der Station und die rassenhygienischen Kommentare der medizinischen »Spezialisten« werden nur durch kleine Freuden, wie die gelegentlichen Besu­che von Frau und Schwägerin, erträglich. Als die Patienten erfasst und klassifiziert werden, schließt sich die kleine Gruppe noch enger zusammen.

Alle hoffen darauf, sich nach dem Krieg im Traumland Italien wiederzufinden. Doch Max Koenig und Oscar werden verlegt und ihren Angehörigen entzogen. Töten wird sie Dr. Friedel Lerbe, Mediziner und SS­Mann. Als Leiter einer Tötungsanstalt führt er das NS ­»Euthanasie« ­Programm mit büro­kratischer Präzision aus – jedes Detail des Ablaufs wird von ihm kontrolliert.

Ein ganzer Stab von »Pflegern«, Se­kretärinnen, Technikern und Leichen brennern steht diesem »Spezialisten« bei seinem Handwerk zur Seite.

Barbara Zoeke wuchs im thüringischen Vogtland auf und studierte in Köln und Münster Psychologie. Sie ist habilitierte Psychologin und Schriftstellerin.
Barbara Zoeke lebt seit 2008 in Berlin.

Barbara Zoeke
Die Stunde der Spezialisten
Roman
Ca. 300 Seiten
Originalausgabe, nummeriert und limitiert
Gestaltung: Lars Henkel.
Kunstvolle Collage für Cover, Bezug, Vor- und Nachsatzpapier.
Fadenheftung, Lesebändchen.
September 2017
Band 393
€ 42
ISBN 978­3­8477­0393­8
DIE ANDERE BIBLIOTHEK 2017/18

Empathisch und erschütternd klar: In Barbara Zoekes Roman kommen Opfer und Täter eines der verdrängten Verbrechen der Nationalsozialisten zu Wort

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William Brewer: I Know Your Kind. Poems about the American opioid epidemic

Selected for the National Poetry Series by Ada Limón, I Know Your Kind is a haunting, blistering debut collection about the American opioid epidemic and poverty in rural Appalachia.

In West Virginia, fatal overdoses on opioids have spiked to three times the national average. In these poems, William Brewer demonstrates an immersive, devastating empathy for both the lost and the bereaved, the enabled and the enabler, the addict who knocks late at night and the brother who closes the door.

He shows us the high, at once numbing and transcendent: “this warm moment when I forget which part of me / I blamed.”

He shows us the overdose, when “the poppies on my arms / bruised red petals.” And he shows us the mourner, attending his high school reunion: “I guess we were underdressed: / me in my surf shoes / you in an urn.”

Underneath and among this multiplicity of voices runs the Appalachian landscape—a location, like the experience of drug addiction itself, of stark contrasts: beauty and ruin, nature and industry, love and despair.

Uncanny, heartbreaking, and often surreal, I Know Your Kind is an unforgettable elegy for the people and places that have been lost to opioids.

William Brewer is the author of I Know Your Kind, a winner of the 2016 National Poetry Series, as well as the chapbook Oxyana, which was awarded the Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship 30 and Under. He is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He was born and raised in West Virginia.

Poetry
I Know Your Kind
By William Brewer
Paperback $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-57131-495-6
Publish Date: Sept. 2017
Pages: 96
Size:5.5 × 8.5 × 0.25 in
Milkweed Books

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Samuel Taylor COLERIDGE: Love

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Love

All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o’er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
Beside the ruined tower.

The moonshine, stealing o’er the scene
Had blended with the lights of eve:
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve!.

She leant against the arméd man,
The statue of the arméd knight:
She stood and listened to my lay,
Amid the lingering light.

Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope ! my joy ! my Genevieve !
She loves me best, whene’er I sing
The songs that make her grieve.

I played a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story-
An old rude song, that suited well
That ruin wild and hoary.

She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace:
For well she know, I could not choose
But gaze upon her face.

I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand:
And that for ten long years he wooed
The Lady of the Land.

I told her how he pined : and ah!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another’s love,
Interpreted my own.

She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes, and modest grace:
And she forgave me, that I gazed
Too fondly on her face!.

But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,
And that he crossed the mountain-woods,
Nor rested day nor night:

That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade,-

There came and looked him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright:
And that he knew it was a Fiend,
This miserable Knight!.

And that unknowing what he did,
He leaped amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death
The Lady of the Land!.

And how she wept, and clasped his knees:
And how she tended him in vain-
And ever strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain ;-

And that she nursed him in a cave:
And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest-leaves
A dying man he lay ;-

His dying words -but when I reached
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faultering voice and pausing harp
Disturbed her soul with pity!.

All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve:
The music and the doleful tale,
The rich and balmy eve:

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng,
And gentle wishes long subdued,
Subdued and cherished long!.

She wept with pity and delight,
She blushed with love, and virgin-shame:
And like the murmur of a dream,
I heard her breathe my name.

Her bosom heaved -she stepped aside,
As conscious of my look she stepped-
The suddenly, with timorous eye
She fled to me and wept.

She half enclosed me with her arms,
She pressed me with a meek embrace:
And bending back her head, looked up,
And gazed upon my face.

‘Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And partly ’twas a bashful art,
That I might rather feel, than see,
The swelling of her heart.

I calmed her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride:
And so I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous Bride.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1834)
Love
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