What is it about poets that so many die young? There are various studies “out there” (just Google it!) which reveal that the suicide rate amongst poets is significantly higher than in other professions. The emotional tragedian — of the person who views the world through a lens of subjective creativity yearning for romanticism in a reality of harsh ugliness — is a person who cannot fathom the contrasting loss of beauty.
Is there, within the profession of a poet, those who engage the traditional iambic pentameter as opposed to some formless, free-flowing approach (i.e., E.E. Cummings?) where the statistical significance varies? Or is it indiscriminately indifferent across the board? Is it because constant rumination within a subjective universe of human thought leads to greater mental instability, or is it something more fundamental and elementary— like the frustration of trying to find the “perfect word” to rhyme?
Do poets search for rhyming words like the rest of us do? You know — where, for example, take the word “fought” and then in our minds we go down the list of the alphabet — bought, caught, (skip D, overlook E because it is a vowel; “fought” we ignore because we just used it; got, hot, skip I, etc.) — or does the word naturally flow for the poet? In the end, is it rumination which leads to a state of being distraught, or the realization that the art of poetry cannot be reconciled with the chaos of this universe?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have realized that a medical condition will not go away, and where the poet’s choice of words to describe the frustration in dealing with one’s job, career and inability in reconciling the medical condition with continuation in the Federal or Postal career cannot be grasped, it may be time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Most of us realize that poetry exists not amongst people, but within the ethereal universe of hopes and dreams, and when a medical condition jolts us into the realization that beauty resides not in a job or a career, but in the human relationships we form over a lifetime, then we also come to understand that health is more important than a Federal job or Postal career.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire