Much Madness

This morning I drove a friend to her doctor’s appointment at McLean Hospital, the nation’s first and finest mental hospital.  Robert Lowell spent time here.  So did Sexton and Plath, Ray Charles and James Taylor.  Some of the original buildings –  big red brick Victorian heaps, still stand.  With landscaping by Olmstead, madness seems elegant and refined. Once home, I looked up the poem by Dickinson –

Much Madness is divinest Sense –
To a discerning Eye –
Much Sense – the starkest Madness –
– Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail –
Assent – and you are sane –
Demur – you’re straightaway dangerous –
And handled with a Chain
(620)

 

2 responses to “Much Madness

  1. The cracked belle of Amherst rings out the truth.

  2. nails it! thanks, S.

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