psychopath

the poet who fails
to identify at least
in part, as madman
is no poet……… medical
science lacks that dimension

I’m beginning to feel I want to break out of the strict syllabic forms of 5-7-5 and 5-7-5-7-7. Brevity doesn’t make a poem. There’s a cruel irony with my poem here, as with so many of my haiku and tanka, that they’re much too rational to be true poems. All the same, I feel pleased, I think I’ve gleaned the correct ‘message’ from my dream of last night. It was incredibly intense. I seemed to be locked in a kiss with a man who was only interested in his own power over others. I had to try to outwit him, and one of the few reliable helps I had was the poet Robert Graves. Another thing that helped was the baby I was holding in my arms and trying to hide from the maniac. I believe this dream was a reflection upon the word psychopath which I came across in a book I’m reading called The Roots of War and Terror by the Jungian analyst Anthony Stevens. I found myself feeling sad at Stevens’ unreflective acceptance of the category psychopath. He writes as though there were objectively such a thing as a psychopath, whereas I would definitely question whether it might not in fact be a label we invent and then impose on people. Here is the passage in question: I would agree that Konrad Lorenz’s view of aggression as an instinctive urge which needs to be discharged is oversimplistic and difficult to apply to human behaviour. There are men who have a low flashpoint and who are more aggressive than others; that aggression — in psychopaths, for example — seems to be readily available and functions as an integral part of their character structure. But, by and large, human aggression is stimulus-dependent.

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