Permission to be still… or trap the monster

I have just started a new MOOC – Literature and Mental Health presented by the University of Warwick. The above contains soundbites from some celebrity contributors.

Firstly, the notion that a book gives you permission to be still and contemplative, and secondly that writing with a beautiful style about something awful can trap the monster within that language are both ideas that resonate with me.

“The act of writing just like the act of reading can be a form of stress management”… try reading this poem by Wordsworth and see if its rhythm has a calming effect.

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still.

W. Wordsworth (1770–1850)


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