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Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 103–137 | Cite as

A Poetic Path from Melancholy to Mourning: Robert Lowell's Elegies as Case Study

  • Allan Hugh ColeJr.Email author
Article

Abstract

This essay builds on a previous one in this journal (Cole, 2005) that details how reading elegiac poetry, the poetry of mourning, may be a pastoral resource for complicated grief or what is classically termed melancholia. A study of elegies by poet Robert Lowell (1917–1977), which depict a progression from melancholia to more “typical” mourning, demonstrates how thinking and writing in elegiac terms may offer a similar resource, whether for one's own melancholia or that of persons in one's care.

Keywords

elegy melancholia grief lowell mourning poetry narrative therapy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pastoral Care at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
  2. 2.Austin Presbyterian Theological SeminaryAustin

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