Tag Archives: Pain

And a Woman Said, “Tell Us of Pain”

Is Kahlil Gibran right in seeing pain as a road to enlightenment. Or is this just wish fulfillment?

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Now for Something Completely Different

Georgia O’Keefe This past week I seem to have taken as a challenge Elaine Scarry’s observation (in The Body in Pain) that representations of physical pain in literature are rare. Two more I add to the list are the Blake professor in Gail Godwin’s The Good Husband, who is dying of cancer, and Rosie, the […]

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Trusting that Good Can Come from Ill

Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus What have I learned about literature and pain this past week? First, that writers have taken up the topic, just as they take up every aspect of human existence. They imagine what it is like to feel pain and, through poetic images and fictional stories, convey that experience to readers. By entering […]

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Breaking through Pain’s Solitude

  I’ve had a chance to revisit the two classics that immediately came to mind the other day when I thought about literary depictions of pain.  Both were as powerful as I remember.  In D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, the death of the mother goes on and on, page after page.  As her son […]

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And a woman said, “Tell us of Pain”

Here’s a poem that deals directly with pain, from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.  I don’t entirely understand it but I’m intrigued by some of its claims: “And a woman spoke, saying, “Tell us of Pain.” And he said: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of […]

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