Friday, January 29, 2010

A Call To Poets: Stay Alive

So Carolyn Kellogg writes in the Los Angeles Times Books section. She reminds of of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, John Berryman, and Rachel Wetzsteon, who recently suicided at the age of 42.

Writer Jennifer Michael Hecht, who teaches at the New School, knew Wetzsteon; her death got her thinking about artists grappling with suicide. "I’m issuing a rule," she writes. "You are not allowed to kill yourself.

Some part of you doesn’t want to end it all, and I’m talking to her or him, to that part of you. I’m throwing you a rope, you don’t have to explain it to the monster in you, just tell the monster it can do whatever it wants, but not that. Later we’ll get rid of the monster, for now just hang on to the rope. I know that this means a struggle from one second to the next, let alone one day at a time. Know that the rest of us know that among the faces we have met there are some right now who can barely take another minute of the pain and uncertainty. And we are in the room with you, going from one moment to the next, in whatever condition you manage to do it. Sobbing and useless is great! Sobbing and useless is a million times better than dead. A billion times. Thank you for choosing sobbing and useless over dead... Don’t kill yourself. Suffer here with us instead. We need you with us, we have not forgotten you, you are our hero. Stay.

Hat tip to Flawedplan- of WritheSafely Blog.... thank you.

Picture is of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. I don't know if the baby is Frieda or Nicholas, who suicided last year....


Blackdog said...

Thank you for that beautiful passage. Sometimes the only thing we can do, and the best thing, is endure from one moment to the next.

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

"Suffer here with us instead. We need you with us, we have not forgotten you, you are our hero. Stay."

So beautiful.

howard said...

thanks for posting this.

it's sad that those with the most creativity often seem to have a high degree of dysfunction as well. i find myself both mourning it and understanding it on a personal level. i've often found myself in dark places at the whim of inspiration.

one hand, i think it's important to plumb the depths of human emotion, especially the dark matter, but maybe it's best done with a "spotter" -- someone to make sure you don't perish in the pursuit. to me, that's one of the great advantages of the internet, even if it's not as good as having someone right there with you. at least you have a way to know you're not all alone.

Syd said...

I read a book about Sylvia. What a sad story. I like the rule of not being allowed to commit suicide. Sounds like a good rule to me.

susan said...

Syd, yes, and I just hope the baby in her arms is not the child that suicided last really does run in families.

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