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Secede1863
06-09-2004, 04:49 PM
I found this article on CNN. Give it a good look. Shows Lincolns Depression even at an early age.

Richard Lawrence Miller, the author of "Truman: The Rise to Power," searched every issue of the weekly Sangamo Journal from 1831 to 1842 as part of his research into Lincoln's life, and found an unsigned poem that matched one described by friends of Lincoln.
Miller analyzed "The Suicide's Soliloquy," published in an 1838 issue, and concluded that a 29-year-old Lincoln was the author. Miller wrote about his find in the spring 2004 issue of the newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association of Springfield.

Lincoln scholars have long known of a suicide poem but had never found it. Some dated the poem to 1841, the year Lincoln suffered from depression after breaking his engagement to Mary Todd. William Herndon, Lincoln's law partner and biographer, once reported that the poem had been published in the Sangamo Journal but was later clipped out of the only copy he could find.

After discovering "The Suicide's Soliloquy," Miller analyzed it for similarities in meter and style to other Lincoln poems.

Kim Bauer, the Lincoln curator for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, agreed that the possibility is strong Lincoln wrote the poem.

"The basic sentence structure and the words that are used are certainly well within the parameters that Lincoln wrote a lot of his poetry," Bauer said.

Tom Schwartz, the state historian, also believes Miller's theory is plausible.

"We all know that Lincoln had his moods, was a depressive personality," Schwartz said. "And this lends credence to what ... both his contemporaries and historians generally concede was part of his personality makeup."

http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/06/08/lincoln.poem.ap/index.html

Your Pard;
Andrew Stebbins (Stubs)

tsheehy
06-10-2004, 10:21 AM
It is important for others to know that our president and friend in history Abe did not have a "depressive personality" as Mr. Schwartz suggests. Having a personality disorder is very different from a person suffering with depression.

A personality disorder is marked by an, "enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly for the expectation of the individual's culture." (DSM-IV Revised) As I understand it Mr. Lincolns personality did not markedly deviate from the expectations of our culture. Yes, it seems as if he may have had significant experiences of intense sadness, emptiness, and he may even have had thoughts of suicide, but this does not have to do with his personaity.

<STRIKE>An example of Personality Disorder can be seen in someone we all know and love, Homer Simpson. He would be diagnosed with Dependent Personality Disorder, because of a "pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clining behavior and fears of separation, begining by early adulthood and present in a varety of contexts" (DSM IV Revised)</STRIKE>

There is no such thing as a "Depressive Personality"

Tim, thanks for the insight. Please remember to sign your full name to all of your posts. Also, I think you may have come up with a better example than a cartoon character to illustrate your point. - Mike Chapman

tsheehy
06-10-2004, 02:46 PM
It is important for others to know that our president and friend in history Abe did not have a "depressive personality" as Mr. Schwartz suggests. Having a personality disorder is very different from a person suffering with depression.

A personality disorder is marked by an, "enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly for the expectation of the individual's culture." (DSM-IV Revised) As I understand it Mr. Lincolns personality did not markedly deviate from the expectations of our culture. Yes, it seems as if he may have had significant experiences of intense sadness, emptiness, and he may even have had thoughts of suicide, but this does not have to do with his personaity.

<STRIKE>An example of Personality Disorder can be seen in someone we all know and love, Homer Simpson. He would be diagnosed with Dependent Personality Disorder, because of a "pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clining behavior and fears of separation, begining by early adulthood and present in a varety of contexts" (DSM IV Revised)</STRIKE>

There is no such thing as a "Depressive Personality"

Tim, thanks for the insight. Please remember to sign your full name to all of your posts. Also, I think you may have come up with a better example than a cartoon character to illustrate your point. - Mike Chapman

Mike,
Thank you for the information, I'll always be sure to sign my name.
As far has using Homer, please spare me the grief. Most people have been exposed to that particular cartoon character for years and have a solid context to learn and understand. Yet, for some reason it seems that using such an example is disturbing for you.

Tim Sheehy
Botsford Mess

Milliron
06-10-2004, 03:39 PM
I think I have to share Tim's objection to what was struck out. I don't see what was objectionable about his example.

Mike, I appreciate your zeal in moderating this forum and maintaining high standards, but this is starting to look a bit like the thought police.

Dear Sir,
As discussed in other threads related to posting rules, please use the Alert feature of the forum if you would like to disagree with a Moderator action. The Moderating Team welcomes suggestions and comments; the open forum is not the place to share them. If you would care to discuss the matter further, please email the Mods privately, or use the Alert feature to pop the post into our Moderation line-up.

Regards,
Elizabeth Clark
Moderating Team

RelicRoomGuy
06-10-2004, 04:17 PM
So CNN posts an article ABOUT the poem, but not the poem ? Typical. The following is from "The New Yorker" and I commend the article itself to folks interested in the topic.



http://newyorker.com/talk/content/?040614ta_talk_shenk
"The poem is written in the voice of a tortured, lonely soul who comes to the bank of the Sangamon River:

Yes! Iíve resolved the deed to do,
And this the place to do it:
This heart Iíll rush a dagger through
Though I in hell should rue it!


Even if one takes into account the appetite for melodrama in Lincolnís day, the last two stanzas of the poem are startling:

Sweet steel! Come forth from out your sheath,
And glistíning, speak your powers;
Rip up the organs of my breath,
And draw my blood in showers!

I strike! It quivers in that heart
Which drives me to this end;
I draw and kiss the bloody dart,
My lastómy only friend! "

paulcalloway
06-12-2004, 12:26 PM
To emphasize what Elizabeth has said -If you all have a problem with something a moderator has written, please use the alert feature and share your concern there - not in an open thread.

Moderating is not an exact science so constantly moderators are having to make judgement calls. The place to question those judgement calls is in private emails or private messages.

Mr. Sheehy - you just joined the forum. Criticism/Questions/Concerns are usually received better from active posters on the forum who contribute regularly. You're not there yet. Moderators will generally look more harshly on those who haven't been around much.

Hank Trent
06-12-2004, 01:41 PM
Sweet steel! Come forth from out your sheath,
And glist’ning, speak your powers;
Rip up the organs of my breath,
And draw my blood in showers!

If I were handed that poem in an English class and asked to discuss the symbolism, well...

This is a family forum, so I'll just say, I don't think it's necessarily only about suicide. :(

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

RelicRoomGuy
06-14-2004, 10:02 AM
If I were handed that poem in an English class and asked to discuss the symbolism, well...

This is a family forum, so I'll just say, I don't think it's necessarily only about suicide. :(

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

YECHHH. And the next verse is no improvement, is it?

Still you have to avoid inflicting post-Freudian sensibilities, I think - the conventions of the nineteenth-century folks being so different from our own...I don't expect an audience of the time would have seen "that" in the poem at all, nor would it have crossed the author's mind (yeah, we could argue his "subconscious" mind, but that would be marvelously unproductive)! It's said that when Oscar Wilde was convicted of sodomy in England, a common American middle-class response was some variation on, "just what does that mean he DID, actually?" :sarcastic

Hank Trent
06-14-2004, 02:21 PM
yeah, we could argue his "subconscious" mind, but that would be marvelously unproductive

I agree that an audience of the time wouldn't have seen it in the poem, and I don't think Lincoln realized it either. But you know how Lincoln scholars are--if it can be analyzed, it will be analyzed, so I betcha somebody's going to do it, before it's all said and done.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

RelicRoomGuy
06-14-2004, 04:55 PM
I agree that an audience of the time wouldn't have seen it in the poem, and I don't think Lincoln realized it either. But you know how Lincoln scholars are--if it can be analyzed, it will be analyzed, so I betcha somebody's going to do it, before it's all said and done.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Oh, yeah, that's a certainty. And I expect that certainty probably says more about our society and mindset, than about his! Should inspire a "strange bedfellows" alliance between a "believe any calumny about Lincoln" crowd, and a "claim an American icon for our alternative lifestyle" crowd.

It seems to me that psychological history is interesting, even tempting stuff...I remember a lengthy diagnosis of John Brown we studied in a class, and the way it took perfectly ordinary nineteenth-century habit of his and used them (out of his cultural context) to "prove" all sorts of things. Now, John Brown was, in my lay opinion, a serious nut case. But stating what KIND of nut case, from this distance in time and culture, is a bit presumptive...certainly more art than science...

I do get the feeling that a great many larger-than-life leaders of the past would have, in our times, wound up "medicated" - perhaps medicated right out of their accomplishments! (That will be my excuse for not cooperating, if they "come to take me away!")

PMBwriter
08-16-2004, 03:03 AM
"[M]edicated out of their accomplishments" or into them? As a writer and musician, I've often had to endure discussions positing a link between depression (or other mental illness) and creativity. I think I'm pretty safe in saying that one can not accomplish much of anything if one is severely mentally ill. In addition to other requirements, creating a work of art takes organization, concentration, perseverance, and a lot of plain old W-O-R-K. These are not the symptoms of disabling mental illness. I would add that medications used in treating mental illness are quite sophisticated and effective these days; and phallic imagery, subconscious or otherwise, is hardly limited to the "alternative lifestyle crowd"!

Paul M. Bauer
South Salem, NY



Oh, yeah, that's a certainty. And I expect that certainty probably says more about our society and mindset, than about his! Should inspire a "strange bedfellows" alliance between a "believe any calumny about Lincoln" crowd, and a "claim an American icon for our alternative lifestyle" crowd.

It seems to me that psychological history is interesting, even tempting stuff...I remember a lengthy diagnosis of John Brown we studied in a class, and the way it took perfectly ordinary nineteenth-century habit of his and used them (out of his cultural context) to "prove" all sorts of things. Now, John Brown was, in my lay opinion, a serious nut case. But stating what KIND of nut case, from this distance in time and culture, is a bit presumptive...certainly more art than science...

I do get the feeling that a great many larger-than-life leaders of the past would have, in our times, wound up "medicated" - perhaps medicated right out of their accomplishments! (That will be my excuse for not cooperating, if they "come to take me away!")