bipolar disorder

I came across an impressive poem through an interpretation of the poem in the British Journal of General Practice.


After the arc of ECT
and the blunt concussion of pills,
they gave him lithium to cling to—
the psychiatrist’s stone.
A metal that floats on water,
must be kept in kerosene,
can be drawn into wire.
(He who had jumped in the harbor,
burnt his hair off,
been caught hanging from the light.)
He’d heard it was once used
to make hydrogen bombs,
but now was a coolant for nuclear reactors,
so he broke out of hospital barefoot
and walked ten miles to meet me in the snow.

The interpretation can be read here

More poems by this author here
Stammers, T. (2014). Poems in practice British Journal of General Practice, 64 (619), 93-93 DOI: 10.3399/bjgp14X677211