In the introduction to this book Art and Simple Reality we observed that artistic expression is often intuitive. Lawrence LeShan agrees: “Before he begins new research, he reads to see whether poets and artists have already expressed the same ideas. If they have, he proceeds, knowing he’s on the right track.”[i]

Human expression, especially artistic expression, is a healthy outlet. As Dr. Bernie Siegel observed in his book Love, Medicine and Miracles, “It is probably the reason cancer is more common in convents than in prisons: in jail you can at least act out your frustrations.”[ii]  Be that as it may, the following poem by W. H. Auden[iii]  expresses the relationship between disease and frustrated expression.

She bicycled down to the doctor,
And rang the surgery bell;
“O, doctor, I’ve a pain inside me,
And I don’t feel very well”

Doctor Thomas looked her over,
And then he looked some more;
Walked over to his wash basin,
Said, “Why didn’t you come before?”

Doctor Thomas sat over his dinner.
Though his wife was waiting to ring;
Rolling his bread into pellets;
Said, “Cancer’s a funny thing.

“Nobody knows what the cause is,
Though some pretend they do;
It’s like some hidden assassin
Waiting to strike at you.

“Childless women get it,
And men when they retire;
It’s as if there had to be some outlet
For their foiled creative fire.”


POETRY – Self-Expression

[i]     Siegel, Bernie S. Love, Medicine and Miracles. New York: Harper. 1986, page 83.

[ii]     Ibid.

[iii]    Ibid., pages 82-83.


Self-Expression – Table of Contents


Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry.

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