LOL.Thanks for the kind words
The previous poem ("Invictus") was written by WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY and published in 1888. It was Nelson Mandela's favourite poem, and it's brilliant.
The one above ("Dr Johnson") was written by John Hunter (not PhD yet) in 2009. I wrote it for a friend who had just been broken up with, and who had - in an email to me a few days before - really fallen apart, and revealed just how hurt she was. A day after sending me the mail, she apologised for being so open, and was embarrassed by how "weak" she was, so I wrote it to let her know how I saw her "weakness".
It's based on a few people I met during my first manic episode in London - one was a homeless man named Roy who slept in the Earlsfield library, near to where I lived. While in my manic state, I befriended him and found out that he had once owned a painting business, had been quite wealthy, driven sports cars etc., but something had happened to him and he had turned to alcohol... (I actually took Roy to Wimbledon with me in 2003... the tennis tournament... which scared the life out of my housemate, and which is a source of much laughter to my friends... who find my stories of mania exceedingly entertaining.)
The second person it was based on was a homeless man named Joe, who I'd seen screaming at passers by in Garrat Lane (Earlsfield). Again, since I was manic (and fearless) at the time... and believed that God was speaking to me... I went and sat down next to him, bought him a pie and some tea, and asked him his story. He immediately calmed down and revealed himself to be a sensitive man... but someone who was just feeling a lot of anger and pain.
We often don't express love properly to those we care about... which, as a repressed white guy with British ancestry, I've certainly been guilty of... but you can sometimes see love so clearly in the pain of loss. I wanted to let my friend, who is just the most incredible person, know how I saw her "weakness", so I wrote Dr Johnson for her later that day. She was actually in London with me in 2003, and she saw me at my most manic, yet she's never judged me and has always treated me with unconditional kindness and support. We are still good friends, and... although she still lives in London... has been an amazing friend for many years. If you're interested, I also wrote the poems, "The problem with you", and "The Line" for her... both of which are found in this book:
I've clearly been in a manic state for the past few months, so I apologise for the strange posts. In my book, I quote John Dryden who says, "Great wits are sure to madness near allied, and thin partitions do their bounds divide", and I do think that, in spite of stepping across that line at times, most of what I wrote (in the book, and my PhD) reveals clear and creative thinking, rather than madness. I hope that you can find the value in the evidence I have produced without writing it all off because I'm "crazy". Assuming it's all crazy because, at times, I'm crazy is an appeal to authority, rather than a fair review of all of the evidence. It is a heuristic... a mental shortcut... System 1 thinking... employing the peripheral route... it's relying on the intuitive mind when you really should be engaging the rational mind... and I hope that I've conveyed the danger of doing that :)
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2020 11:48AM by John Hunter PhD.