Love affair between poetry and psychology?

Forth Hall October 17 2013 005  2


Romanyshyn references the psychologist/researcher frequently in his book, The Wounded Researcher (link is external)as being “the failed poet” suggesting he or she stands at the gap between the conscious and unconscious, and bears the tension between knowing and not knowing. Romanyshyn also admits that the psychologist who keeps the soul in mind is closer in sensibility to the poet, even if he or she is not a poet. Essentially, he’s acknowledging that poetry is an art of the soul, something which has been tangentially addressed over the years. Interestingly, he also references a number of poets in his book, such as Homer, Keats, and Rilke, while identifying some of the common threads between psychologists and poets, the important one being that they tend to be individuals who are able to identify the truths of any given moment. Needless to say, they both play an invaluable societal role and without tooting my own horn, if both exist in one person, well, that’s even better.

As a transpersonal psychologist and poet, each day I see more clearly the power and influence these two professionals have on one another. Every morning I read poetry, oscillating between Rumi and more contemporary poets like Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds,



Romanyshyn, Robert. (2007). The wounded researcher. New Orleans, LA: Spring Journal Books.

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