I just ran into a biography of Emily Dickinson, a poet that I have been very tuned to, for she inspired me greatly during a certain phase of my own early years of poetry writing.
This biography makes it clear that melancholia was a streak that never really left the lady in all her years, from youth to later years and no matter what she did or wrote, death was one theme that she frequently returned to. Upon a hunch I verified in the book by Kay Jamison Redfield (touched by fire) whether she had also listed Dickinson among the long lists of creative people she has listed there, with histories of mental illness. Oh yes, Dickinson’s name is very much on the list- so no surprises. But the good thing is that this way I can also get the background biographical material of many artists and creative people. Just the other day I found out about two violinists as well.
Just like the paper I am currently winding off, artistic expressions are a great device for rehabilitation from afflictions of the spirit and if one only goes through the article I have shared via this post and then some of the poetry of Dickinson, it becomes clear how the two came together- the poetic expression, mid a life of solitude, serenity and loneliness in great parts. Of course she largely kept sane and progressively became reclusive …nothing unlike many others.