4 out of 4 stars
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Physical illnesses are relatively easy to discern and compare, and they are also more acceptable in society. On the other hand, a mental illness is something that an individual usually goes through on their own. This is because one cannot compare and contrast their own mental pain with others, as this is an unseen illness. Thus, many people think that the person suffering is merely making it up in order to garner attention.
Schizophrenic Delight by Earl Schultz is a compilation of poems that details some of the experiences and emotions that the author goes through as a result of his illness. This book falls under the poetry and drama genre, with a total of 90 poems altogether.
According to WebMD, Schizophrenia is ‘a brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. In addition, Schizoaffective disorder, which the author suffers from, includes ‘both schizophrenia and a mood disorder’.
The book, Schizophrenic Delight, is an insight into the author's mind. The poems detail how he sees the world. It details his fears and longings. Many of the poems have meanings that are deep and show the difficulty that the poet goes through in life.The themes of the poems are based on the feelings and trials that the author goes through as a result of having a schizophrenic disorder. These range from feelings of being trapped, loneliness, depression, and frustration.
The poems are free verse and of different length, some are a few lines long, while others go on for a few pages. The poems are not named, rather they are just numbered. A lot of the poems are addressed to somebody. As if the poet is speaking directly to a person - a lover, himself, and even at times, the reader themselves.
Some of my favorite lines from several of the different poems are as follows:
- “The blinds on the wall might as well be prison bars
and the tie is a chain wrapped around my neck”
- “rain drops are falling on me all of the time
when I cry inside my mind”
- “There is a time
when I cry
and a time
when I laugh
and a time
when I feel nothing at all”
The reason I first chose to read this book was that I wanted to understand what a schizophrenic goes through or at least gain a bit more insight into this illness. I think that my goal was definitely achieved. I enjoyed this book immensely. What I liked most about this book is that when reading the poems, the reader is able to get a sense of the feelings that the poet goes through. These poems translate the poet’s feelings of confusion, depression, and loneliness adequately. This is why I am rating this book a 4 out of 4 stars. I think that more effort, on the whole, needs to be made to understand mental illness and that it should not be treated as something taboo, or something non-existent, simply because it is not visible. This is one of those books that can bring this important issue to light. I would recommend this book to all those who enjoy poetry as well as those who would like to understand the pain and feelings that a person suffering from mental illness goes through.
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