After posting on contemporary inspirational poems about addiction I failed to mention that drug addiction poems were not by any means based on or restricted to the problems in this area that we face in modern times. Unfortunately, addicts and their issues are hardly a new phenomenon. Before the meth addict, there was the drunk and the Laudanum and opium addict. And let’s not forget to mention the addict that until recent years that was thought to only be causing physical damage only to himself without harming others, the smoker. (Of course, we know now that second hand smoke is very dangerous to anyone who shares breathing space with a smoking cigarette but for years we thought this was a problem for the smoker only.)
At times it makes us feel a little better to know that we are not the only ones who are dealing with the problem of addiction, thus the success of both AA and Al-Anon, so I dredged up some very interesting and inspirational drug addiction poems that were written long before the methamphetamine addiction epidemic or the problem of prescription drug abuse.
I found an excellent and highly sought after book that offers some drug addiction poems that were written more than a few years ago. In fact, the two hundred poems contained in the book were written across a span of seven centuries reflecting a virtual smorgasbord of mental states many of which are common to both addicts and the people who are connected to them.
Some people argue that addiction and mental illness are one and the same. It’s true that both serve up symptoms of despondency, despair and melancholia as well as manic episodes or as some believe, existence in a state of heightened perception of the world and life as we know it.
Whether or not you find this book of poems of drug addiction and quotes inspiring depends on where you are in your recovery as well as your mindset at the time of reading and whether you are prone to depression. I did find the book depressing but a marvel of creativity with the likes of Sylvia Plath, George Herbert, John Clare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Berryman, Ann Sexton, Weldon Kees, Lucille Clifton, Jane Kenyon and other poets worthy of not. This book, A Mind Apart by Bauer, is most appreciated by those who are suffering from addiction, mental illness or those who simply appreciate poetry written by those who have experienced the heights and depths of the human spirit.