Asleep on the Volcano: The Poetic Landscape of Psychotherapy

Poetry and painting, like music, are bridges between the internal and external. It is not difficult to see both the earlier poems of Marcus’s growing up and the later ones– the major part of the work – as Bion-like containers. That is, instruments to process and re-present experience. Here can be seen the connection with patients whose crimes, writes Marcus, “can be seen as attempts to resolve inner turmoil….trapped and sometimes boiling below the surface” until, in psychotherapy, they may “encounter…a receptive mind….that can tolerate …the heat of their experiences.” 

Poems and images range widely – landscape to homescape, birth to death, school and hospital, Nature and love, reality and dreamlife, pain and joy, and more. I am reluctant to categorise them as abstract but rather describe them as free; you can go back time and again and see something different. They let your mind roam but have enough structure to keep you grounded.