Minds on the run? metaphors of mobility in the poetry of madness Professor Alan Beattie Lancaster University UK presentation for 1st International Health Humanities Conference Madness and Literature University of Nottingham August 6th-8th 2010 Lines: I am John Clare4 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 oblivions host Like shadows in love-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 lifes esteems; Even the dearest that I love the best Are strange nay, rather, stranger than the rest. what kind of movement strikes you most in this poem? why? life as an ocean voyage: from the sweet sleep of childhood to the shipwreck of esteem & dreams to a longed-for sleep of death the runaway self? waiting to escape? waiting to be released? Glimmers of Light [excerpts] Frank Bangay1 Alone in a city too big for comfort too many people too much loneliness the spirit gets lost under the noise and clatter you can become part of the crowd and fade into insignificance or you can express your craziness and get singled out. Sometimes I want to escape from this competitive age but there is no sanctuary just a return to the psychiatric ward. We pay a high price
in our search for enlightenment... Hiding in the shadows we feel safe the world outside seems full of hostile images.. a voice keeps saying Admission Emily Riall7 There is a large expanse of dotted carpet stretched between us. If I stare too hard at it the dots start moving. Like beetles. My chair sags in the seat. Someones stubbed a cigarette out on the arm. She fills in the boxes on her page Age, weight, height. Various other pointless bits of information that no one will ever read again. Unless I go missing (NSR9). I have already been through my history but they will make me go over it again. Apparently though everything is written down no one can be bothered to read it. ImWe shown my a room. Theres a window all to need cocoon to crawl into 7by a curtain in the door. covered Anon That night I shiver under to mycrawl hospital We all need a cocoon into blankets listening And seal safely behind us to the other down the A womb, patients a mossy shout dark cavern corridor. A friend to lovingly bind strips of Coloured cloth around us To be cupped birdlike in caring hands And held close to have warm breath Blown gently across our skin Words of calm whispered quietly to us And, when the time is come To be set free in an upward gesture A scattering of dandelion seeds The Hand of God Harry Smart 4 The hand of God comes to me with a
bottle and the label on the bottle says take two, Nitrazepam, Temazepam, and sleep. Who says faith is difficult today and who would not be grateful for it, who profess no need? Only a fool. I take the medicine God has handed out and, magically, I sense it start to work; the sedatives are swimming in my veins, a shoal of favourite words beyond control, a lustre, velvet, plush and shimmering, a bump of cushioned nerves, all warm and murmuring the world assumes a quiet pose, test cricket on TV, the cosy hush of snooker rooms and peaceful bars: Temazepam, Nitrazepam; they hold me softly as an evening the runaway self? OR is it Others who have made our 7 minds run away? In the Asylum Linda Hart Excuse me for a minute, My mind escapes me. It hasnt accidentally wandered off or taken flight to a foreign land, it resides here in the asylum. Each patient patient has a regime of poverty, isolation, despair and torture which sticks through the veneer of charity clothes like the awkward bones of a compound fracture. We are given elastoplast to staunch our haemorrhaging distress, TV soaps to cleanse our wanting souls and drugs to kill all passions, and more drugs to kill the side-effects of the drugs that kill all passions. And finally, we are branded, not with a neat badge or logo proclaiming our names, our identity, but with Latin hieroglyphs gleaned from medical textbooks. It helps to recognise what we are, our species. The Garden Anne Marr3 The tangled garden of my dreams, I could bring to you. I could show you, rain-beaded, A spiders web of hope, Trapping early sun. A crazy path that curls through bowers, Where spiky roses reach their hungry hands, And tumbled ivy on the wall Spills over the bruised moss. I could tell you my desires,
And wrap the flawed net of my hopes Around us both. But you would run from theExell6 Another Country John wilderness, There is another country. Not far Wanting an ordered Italianate away. space, In fact it is very near. Empty, and without me. Mental Health Professionals learn all they can about this other country. Talk to people, its observers and residents, but mostly its observers. Read books and papers about it, Attempt to learn its language, But its borders are closed to most of the runaway self? OR is it Others who want to run away us? We tell them about ourfrom country, But they do not believe us. They say, This is not true, it is all delusion. But remember they have never visited our country. We say there are wonders there, And horrors too. Heaven and Hell. But they do not believe us. They say, This is all delusion. We have very little industry or commerce in our country. Only art, fantastic art, insight and our own peculiar wisdom. They take pity on us. They give us food and shelter. But they expect us to obey the rules of their country, Like some benevolent conqueror. They want us to learn their industry and commerce, But this is the death of some of us. We are far happier producing fantastic art, Or simply dreaming. They would like us to become Like the residents of their country. Like them. Leaving Hospital Peter Street2 Five months inside the shell of a WorkHouse/Asylum: sixty years to paint over the smell of cruelty and innocent faces they jammed between the bricks. I want to be an undercoat for a little longer and tell dirty jokes to the nineteenth century.
Theyre forcing meSylvia out into Now. 4 Apprehensions Plath Into anisupside-down inside-out Gullivers There this white wall, above which the sky world. creates itself Where everythings changed: Infinite, green, utterly untouchable. Angels swim in it, and the stars, in indifference the streets, the cafes, the toilets. also. They are my medium. The sun dissolves on this wall, bleeding its lights. a A grey wall now, clawed and bloody. runaway Is there no way out of the mind? Steps at my back spiral into a well. world? There are no trees or birds in this world, There is only a sourness. This red wall winces continually: A red fist, opening and closing, Two grey, papery bags This is what I am made of, this, and a terror Of being wheeled off under crosses and a rain of pieties. On a black wall, unidentifiable birds Swivel their heads and cry. To Carry the Child Stevie Smith5 To carry the child into adult life Is good? I say it is not, To carry the child into adult life Is to be handicapped. The child in adult life is defenceless And if he is grown-up, knows it, And the grown up looks at the childish part And despises it. The child, too, despises the clever grown-up, The man-of-the-world, the frozen, For the child has the tears alive on his cheek And the man has none of them. As the child has colours, and the man sees no Colours or anything, Being easy only in things of the mind, The child is easy in feeling. Easy in feeling, easily excessive And in excess powerful, For instance, if you do not speak to the child He will make trouble.
Oh it is not happy, it is never happy, To carry the child into adulthood, Let the children lie down before full growth And die in their infanthood And be guilty of no mans blood. Noon Walk on the Asylum Lawn Anne runaway Sexton4 A words? Lesson Kevin The summer sun ray McCann2 The shifts through a suspicious tree. teacher paces out though I walk through the valley of The afternoon. Note this. the shadow Note that. Learn by It sucks the air heart and looks around for me. For Monday. Lessness (excerpt) Samuel Beckett Ruins true refuge long last towards which so many false time out of mind. All sides endlessness earth sky as one no sound no stir. Grey face two pale blue little body heart beating only up right. Blacked out fallen open four walls over backwards true refuge issueless. Scattered ruins same grey as the sand ash grey true refuge. Four square all light sheer white blank planes all gone from mind. Never was but grey air timeless The grass speaks. One child no sound figment the passing light. No sound no stir I hear green chanting all day. Pounced on explains ash grey sky mirrored earth mirrored sky. Never but I will fear no evil, fear no evil Seagulls talk to this changelessness dream the passing hour. The blades extend me. He will curse God again as in the blessed days face and reach my way. to the open sky the passing deluge. Little body grey A controlled burst of face features slit and little holes two pale blue. Blank The sky breaks. laughter from the mind. It sags and breathes upon my face. class Oh yes and Figment light never was but grey air timeless no in the presence of mine enemies, what do they say? sound. Blank planes touch close sheer white all gone Counting the Mad Donald Justice4 mine enemies Its in seagull, from mind. Little body ash grey locked rigid heart This one was put in a jacket, The world is full of enemies. The child replies beating face to endlessness. On him will rain again
This one was sent home, Then adding as in the blessed days of blue the passing cloud. Four There is no safe place. This one was given bread and meat patiently And its square true refuge long last four walls over But would eat none, no good in English Foundations Leopold backwards no sound. And this one cried No No No No 5 Staff doesnt rhyme. Grey sky no cloud no sound no stir earth ash grey All day long. When I built upon the sand. Little body same grey as the earth sky ruins More laughter This one looked at the window only upright. Ash grey all sides earth sky as one all sand But less As though it were a wall, The house fell down. sides endlessness. this time. This one saw things that were not there, He will stir in the sand there will be stir in the sky the When I built upon a This one things that were, air the sand. Never but in dream the happy dream rock And this one cried No No No No The house fell down. only one time to serve. Little body little block heart All day long. This timeKaren I shall start beating ash grey only upright. Earth sky as one all ha ha This one thought himself a bird, 4 With chimney smoke sides endlessness little body only upright. In the sand Davies This one a dog no hold one step more in the endlessness he will ha ha And this one thought himself a man, make it. No sound not a breath same grey all sides An ordinary man, earth sky body ruins. hee hee And cried and cried No No No No Slow black with ruin true refuge four walls over help help All day long. How might study of these poems & metaphor clusters be illuminated by literarylinguistic theory? 3 groups of survivors poems 3 clusters of movement metaphor language as social semiotic: systemic functional linguistics (Halliday)
cognitive grammar (Langacker) 3 (meta)functions 3 elements 3 principles the runaway self? lifecourse, patient journey, escape, lines of flight; ups-&-downs, ins-&outs, to-&-fro of troubled lives; minds are stolen, souls are rejected. or released (Who is speaking, to whom, how?) - sets up own first-person position, voice and role; - marks or indicates interaction, relationships, polarity [Tenor] Perspective: establishes a point of view Apprehensions Leaving Hospital To carry the child a runaway world? everything is changing, uninvited visitors appear, unwanted events arrive (What world is being referred to?) - observes, identifies, categorises goings-on in the outer world [Field] Ideational [object?] [world]? Specificity: recognises external norms and schemata Noon Walk.. Counting.. Ha Ha
runaway words? repetition, quotation, reduction, (What kind/mode of text is this?) - conveys meaning through [Mode] (Inter)text ual Prominence: foregrounds & I am Glimmers of light Admission, cocoon Hand of God In the Asylum The Garden Another Country (Inter)perso nal [subject? ] [self?] How might study of these poems & metaphors link with new thinking about mobilities in social research? 3 groups of survivors poems 3 clusters of movement metaphor echoes, resonances, parallel developments in mobilities theory and research reference source I am Glimmers of light Admission, cocoon Hand of God In the Asylum The Garden Another Country the runaway self? lifecourse, patient journey, escape, lines of flight; ups-&-downs, ins-&outs, to-&-fro of troubled lives; minds are stolen, souls are rejected. or released - clinical practice as ontological choreography?
- resistance/escape as ontological disobedience? - protest moves as ontological dtournements? - liquid self ~ liquid love, liquid life, liquid times? - the post-identitarian (neo-nomadic) fluid self Cussins Woolgar Melucci Bauman DAndrea Apprehensions Leaving Hospital To carry the child a runaway world? everything is changing, uninvited visitors appear, unwanted events arrive beyond societies: contingent, motile socialities new mode of being/feeling: impermanent, ludic the new sociological paradigm of flow the neo-nomadic lifestyles of community care Urry Thrift Shields Parr Noon Walk.. Counting.. Ha Ha Foundations A Lesson runaway words? repetition, quotation, reduction, modification (eg babble, chants, - life & identity as a palimpsest, patchwork text - writing = experiments in motionless voyaging - fluid mindscapes fictocriticism as Bauman Deleuze; Doel Law/Mol; Kerr/ Ne Hetherington What might study of these poems & metaphor clusters contribute to rethinking mental health practice? 3 groups of survivors poems 3 clusters of movement metaphor lessons for non-oppressive
mental health work I am Glimmers of light Admission, cocoon Hand of God In the Asylum The Garden Another Country the runaway self? lifecourse, patient journey, escape, lines of flight; ups-&-downs, ins-&outs, to-&-fro of troubled lives; minds are stolen, souls are rejected. or released - adapt the Tidal model: guide clients from storm /shipwreck/drowning to new course of recovery - adopt postpsychiatry principles: not monologue but multivoiced, ambiguous, contradictory, fluid - insist on collaborative conversations, make sure theres an empath on the team; - encourage and support moving on, from medication to speaking bitterness to replotting lifecourse to mutual aid to social activism Barker a runaway world? everything is changing, uninvited visitors appear, unwanted events arrive - chart the epigenetic landscapes of alienation -re-cast & revalue casualties as cartographers, and misfits as framebreakers; May; Krieger Parr; Hacking Deleuze Apprehensions Leaving Hospital To carry the child reference source Bracken & Thomas Newnes/ Holmes
Beresford Campbell Holland back to the beginning: a point of departure, & a way of going on a way of seeing Survivors poems are unique first-hand accounts of madness experience. They are stories that need to be heard 1, rich in movement metaphors2. They (often) break both a personal silence 3 and a cultural taboo3. They convey news: not answers to the question whats wrong with you?, aabut bulletins on what happened to you? where, when & how did your aaexperience of madness originate? and how did you survive or recover? They contest mainstream medicine, 1.orthodox We desperately need to glimpse of how our fellowThey men and women psychiatry & get MHa practice. may crack up, in a time and at a place (after Hacking, Mad Travellers 1998) have important lessons - for all of us - about surviving. 2. look only at movements (Deleuze 1988, 1992) 3. every poem breaks a silence that had to be overcome (Rich 1995) a way of doing 1 negotiate selections of survivors poems (with interested parties). 2 follow the metaphors (of movement), through open-ended questions. 3 gather & collate comments: analytical, appreciative, critical, evaluative. 4 propose agenda of themes/issues that connect with interested parties. 5 explore towards a mobile poetic for non-oppressive mental health practice contexts of reception reading ? fluid and contingent socialities/ontolo gies in sociology metaphors of movement in survivors poetry runaway world runaway self (lit-)languag e as social semiotic runaway words critical mapshow to survive in turbulent times?
a mobile poetic for nonoppressive mental health practice? contexts of productio creative texts how to oppose/resist/subv ert forced choreographies of liquid capitalism? a mobile poetic for MHP ?  how to survive in liquid times, amid global/local turbulence? Survivors, as mad travellers (actual &/or imaginary), may indeed be casualties in the sense that they are traumatized by their unbearably intimate proximity to the runaway world (Deleuze 2006; Glass 1989), BUT their liquid lives and runaway selves may uniquely position them to be cartographers of newly emerging spaces of flows (Castells 2000) and of the messiness of the human Liquid modernity casts all of us as outsiders, outcasts, strangers, others; it predicament (Bauman 1993). encourages reflexive experimentation in our self-constitution - a manic individualism; it accelerates the liquefaction of identity into privatised, episodic fabrications performed under constant erasure, drifting along schizoid, fragmentary twisted trajectories. This world is as much about contested meanings as about material complexity; and the liquid mode of experience courts vulnerability, insecurity, ambivalence, confusion, and loss of orientation. Liquid life is a series of new beginnings that demand swift and painless endings, resulting in a constant state of uncertainty and Perhaps one can define particular times, and the individual people uprootedness (after Bauman 2005). who live through them, by their exits - by what they think of themselves as having to escape from and confront, in order to live the lives they want (Phillips 2001). survivors lives & testimonies have already pioneered creative ways of opposing/resisting the forced choreographies of liquid capitalism; of thriving among disappearing boundaries, dissolving networks, liquid institutions; of living The language Becketts of a person in a state of shock, or a mobile poetic(of for MHP ?Lessness)  how istoreminiscent create/embody fluidity - in fit of madness - the babbling of a deranged person. This piece radically foregrounds th words, and beyond? linguistic medium. The construction of sentences is so awkward that it seriously impairs our own process of reading, and the text thus draws our attention to the sentence structure itself. The narrative voice has reduced language to repetitious echoings in a syntaxless chain of words and phrases. This deliberate nonfluency, in combination with the repetitive structure of the text and the proliferation of a conspicuous lexicon of reduction and erasure generates a style in which the words draw attention to themselves more as signifiers than as signifieds. The language is free-floating in Derridean fashion. This strategy of constructing and simultaneously
deconstructing utterance is reminiscent of Robbe-Grillet's mouvement paradoxal Lessness works on the nerves rather than the intellect; on many counts it fulfils (prcis after Alber 2002) Becketts ideal of accommodating the chaos of consciousness in linguistic form To make a1982; major Drew language speak 2002) in a minor way is to make it stutter, stammer or even wail, to (Dearlove & Haahr transform it into something less striated, to destabilise & deterritorialise the conventions of the major voice, to inhabit the systemthe andstream-of-consciousness subvert it from within (Deleuze) modernist writing, particularly novel, foregrounds epistemological questions, ie questions about (amodal) knowing and consciousness; whereas postmodernist writing foregrounds ontological questions, ie questions about Cognitive linguisticsoftakes up(McHale an experientialist and anti-objectivist position, viewing modes of existence, being 1987) the relationship between the world on one hand, and language-&-thought on the other, as phenomenological embodiment; this rejects Cartesian dualism and reunites mind-&-body, seeing language-&-thought - conceptualisation itself - as embodied. sore MH: is the effect ofexpression movementfunctionally metaphors not just catachretic & didactic, but Embodied experience finds in metaphorical structures Brown B, Crawford P (2000) Snatching pleasure from the jaws of pain: a dialectical meditation on also constitutive? (Stockwell 2000) experience of embodiment. - illness experience = chronotopes of accentuatedrecovery as journey being/transfiguration/aesthetic production - dressing/dosing/tending as a dance..? = a complex dance a=focus choreographies care? Identities areconversational constructed through on the body, of which projects cultural values: wellbeing is a collage/ assemblage of exercise practices, dietary practices etc that are at once physical, personal & social - material and aesthetic. The body is the stage on
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