Writing About Depression Poem 1 Now

Over the past weeks we have all read about the tragic death of Robin Williams. I don’t know how I learned of his recurrent bouts of depression, but I have known for a while. His film roles revealed so many aspects of the human condition, including mental health.  He played those who suffered and those who counseled.  Many of us deal with these issues, often in silence.  There is still a terrifying stigma attached to these illnesses.  Writing is a wonderful and powerful medium for exploring and illustrating the many sides of depression and other types of mental illness.  It can be therapeutic and revelatory for both people with depression and people who love someone with depression.  Can it be difficult? Yes. I think that one of the greatest gifts to writers is that in writing we start with where we think we are, what we think we know and believe, and yet in the writing. we learn where we really are, what we have discovered in the journey through the poem.   I’ve written a number of pieces about depression.  Pieces depicting despair.  Pieces depicting hope. Pieces revealing healing.   This is one.  I will be posting a second piece.


I know the reason

that my mother,


at 3 AM, sat smoking

on the upper porch,




her cigarette glowed

bright as prayer.


Against vast dark she lifted

intercedent light.


2 thoughts on “Writing About Depression Poem 1 Now

  1. We can learn much from depression and other flavors of human suffering, and we can offer it to others. I have turned much I learned into successful clinical tools , bringing positive meaning to what otherwise was not so. So too did Robin williams, I suspect. Suffering informs those who survive it. We do best to make optimal use of this unwanted resource: helping others must help oursleves as well, don’t you think?


    1. Yes. It took me a long time to begin to show my poetry about the illness which sometimes tends to run in families. Like you, in art and writing, I hope my work can be somewhat helpful to people who deal with these issues daily, whether as a person with the illness, those who love them, or those who treat them. I’ve noticed that often all three of these can describe the experience of just one individual. I think also for those who are open to it, writing can be a freeing and healing activity. Thank you.


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