Description: Under Green Leaves by Richard Henry Stoddard, 96 pages, 5” by 8”. This treasury of verse rejoices in the pleasures of the countryside and the beauty of the outdoor.
Story: I love reading poetry whether or not I’m depressed. I especially love Portuguese language poetry – my favorites are Fernando Pessoa, Luís Vaz de Camões, Adélia Prado and Carlos Drummond. I have always been struck by how powerful poems can be. I read a poem, sit back and reflect. I also appreciate the special tie between poetry, the great poets, and bipolar, something that made me feel better about having bipolar. As well researched by Kay Redfield Jamison’s book Touched With Fire, there is a significant correlation between creativity and bipolar. Some of the world’s greatest poets and artists had bipolar. In fact, 38% of the Pulitzer Prize winning poets had/have bipolar. I also feel that having bipolar heightens your sensitivity to marginalized communities as you are now part of one. This perspective can be very enlightening. I recognize and encourage loved ones and others to appreciate some of the strengths that often accompany mental illness. It just may be the best kept secret about mental illness and can make people with mental illness feel a whole lot better about themselves.
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