Friday, January 3, 2003

Love In The Asylum

Rating: 3.4
A stranger has come
To share my room in the house not right in the head,
A girl mad as birds
Bolting the night of the door with her arm her plume.
Strait in the mazed bed
She deludes the heaven-proof house with entering clouds

Yet she deludes with walking the nightmarish room,
At large as the dead,
Or rides the imagined oceans of the male wards.

She has come possessed
Who admits the delusive light through the bouncing wall,
Possessed by the skies

She sleeps in the narrow trough yet she walks the dust
Yet raves at her will
On the madhouse boards worn thin by my walking tears.

And taken by light in her arms at long and dear last
I may without fail
Suffer the first vision that set fire to the stars.
David W. Berner 21 February 2020
This poem, to me, is about Thomas' love of himself, as A. Nonymous has written. He's trying to find how to love a man who is both a madman and an angel, a man with demons and brilliance. Love, is love of self. And the Asylum is Thomas' own state of mind.
1 0 Reply
Mad maiden 26 November 2019
He's talking about his wife Caitlin, she was very mad and full of fury, he's talking about living with her and how chaos and madness is the same as the chaos that gave birth to the universe e.g. set fire to the stars
1 0 Reply
michael walker. 11 August 2019
An unusual setting for a love poem-in an asylum. The woman patient is or was the object of his love. She is 'a girl mad as birds'. He thinks back to when he first saw and loved her, ' I may without fail/ suffer the first vision that set fire to stars'. A great ending.
2 0 Reply
Strange & dark is this work billowing with a many esoteric underlyings...
2 0 Reply
Brian Jani 26 April 2014
Awesome I like this poem, check mine oit
3 12 Reply
Benjamin Mellor 27 July 2013
this simply is one of the best poems that I have ever read, I frequently turn back to it, as mad as birds set fire to the stars two of the lines most attractive to me I love it
9 5 Reply
A. Nonymus 29 March 2013
interesting to read the various online analysis of this poem. I think that they couldn't be further off base. most of the analysis have taken the asylum imagery in the literal sense, & taken the girl referenced in the poem to be the inhabitant of a literal asylum. to the contrary, I believe that Thomas is referring to his own mental state at the time as his room in the house not right in the head. the girl is someone who has broken through his state of mind, mad as birds, full of light & happiness. she blocks the darkness with her presence, & she deludes the heaven proof house with entering clouds... his thoughts have been a dark & negative hell for so long, that he didn't think it was possible for happiness, light, to enter his being again. the light & positive energy that she has brought into his head seem like such foreign notions, that he thinks that they cannot possibly be real, yet the thoughts remain in his mind, which he views as clouds, which obscure his views of the emotional/mental walls he has been trapped in. she seems to him to be something unearthly, birdlike, free. he feels like his mind is like a nightmare, an asylum, yet she remains, & she deludes with walking, the nightmarish room... the more he allows himself to think about her, roam around in his thoughts, the less nightmarish his mind seems to become. still, he feels that it's a fantasy, that she cannot be real, so he continues to refer to her, & the way she makes him feel, as a delusion. he, being so accustomed to the dark imprisonment that he has created for himself in his mind, feels that she seems to be possessed... not with darkness, but with light. she brings light to his thoughts, a darkened, padded cell, (more delusions, to him, yet, still, he is quietly observing, & allows her to remain in his thoughts... he is bewildered, but he doesn't want her to leave. she symbolises freedom from the prison of his thoughts. despite the dismal condition of his mental state, she continues to remain with him... he doesn't give her much hospitality, yet she stays, doesn't mind the narrow allotment of his interaction that he allows himself to give her. his mind, dusty from neglect, becomes more & more stirred up as she wanders through his thoughts.she isn't afraid to talk to him, she speaks, regardless of whether he responds, or not. she travels through his mind, his thoughts, so used to being depressed, sad, lonely, broken, worn down. she just keeps loving him, & giving him light, & finally, he allows himself to love her, & to be loved... at long & dear last... he believes her, & the asylum is lifted... he is able to see the stars... she has awoken him. he allows her in, & his world comes alive. the heavens have broken through the heaven proof house. he finds happiness, passion, & love.
28 7 Reply
Raluca Bodacia 11 August 2015
You, dear Nonymus, are beautifully perceptive.
0 0 Reply
A. Nonymous 14 August 2015
Thank you, much appreciated
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Troy Hoffman 17 May 2012
Wow. I didn't know about this poem. I only found this when I was trying to find the lyrics to the song by the same name by the band Ringside. After reading the poem, I can see that the song is definitely based on the poem. Some of the lines are similar, such as A stranger's come/ To share my room in a house not right in the head. / A girl who's mad as a bird doomed / Shot down from Heaven's bed. and Through delusive light on the bouncing walls / In trenches too narrow to share. / Dying men of madness roar / Of burdens too great to bear. / In the light of her arms she takes me in / The walls disappear. The song makes a lot more sense now. This song was one of my favorites. It's a great song. However, now I'd have to say I like to poem better.
12 5 Reply
Tim Heron 20 October 2010
I agree with Laura. It's beautiful.
9 4 Reply
Laura Volkaite 17 July 2009
One of my most favourites
10 3 Reply

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