Dead Poets and Therapy in the Written Word

In 2015 my Partner and I, with two friends and their dog (her name is Caddy), had decided upon a day boating on The Broads; a delightful and extensive waterway in the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk, here in England.  We hired a boat that we picked up at Suffolk’s Oulten Broad and off we set.

Having been boating a couple of years before, I knew that it would be a lazy, hazy experience and perfect for doing some writing, sketching, photography and reading.  I am a lover of poetry and so I had wanted to find a new book of poetry to take with me.  I tend to enjoy hunting for written treasures in local antique shops and second hand book stores.   There’s nothing better than finding a lovely old book, well used and loved by others; making me the next in line to cherish and secure a little bit of our wonderful English literary heritage.

To my delight, while out in a nearby antiques centre, I found an original 1916 edition of ‘1914 and Other Poems’ by Rupert Brooke (1887 – 1915).  I had learnt a little about this incredible poet in my teens and so to find a book of his was wonderful.   It was completely undervalued by the antiques centre, who had it marked up for sale at just £3.00!!  Rupert Brooke is a widely celebrated Poet; known particularly for his WWI war sonnets.  What a treasure to find.


As I write this Blog, I have just found a page on Wikipedia about Rupert Brooke; a man known for his good looks and for his work which documents his travels and also his experience during WWI.  His short life is quite fascinating and remarkable.

To learn more, see:

Wikipedia Page on Rupert Brooke

One of my favourite of Rupert Brookes works is ‘Grantchester’.  I have taken a few photos directly from the book, so you may have to zoom in to get a clearer view:

Exactly one hundred years on from the year this edition of this book was published, I thought it would be a nice way to honour this talented young Poet, who died at just age twenty-seven, by writing a brief Blog post to raise awareness of him.

Rupert Brooke is buried on the Greek island of Skyros; he had developed sepsis arising from an infected mosquito bite while sailing with the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in 1915.  A memorial to him sits within his family burial plot at Clifton Road Cemetery in Rugby, here in England.

I had thought about offering my own review of his work but I believe we can all form our own opinion and what better way to celebrate this talented young life than by suggesting that you research him, and his work, for yourself.  If you do read his work, I would be interested in your thoughts about Rupert Brooke, so please do leave a comment.

In my role as a Counsellor and Psychotherapist, I often set my clients a piece of homework that may involve writing something about their thoughts, feelings or emotions.  This may be in the form of keeping a journal, writing a short story or memory, writing a letter or even creating poetry.  Occasionally I also bring art materials into the therapy room and ask clients to express themselves using colours or in creating an image on paper.  You could try this yourself, it can be extremely therapeutic.  For me, poetry and a day out on a boat is great therapy.


2 thoughts on “Dead Poets and Therapy in the Written Word

  1. Helen

    Hi dean – caddy loved being on the boat that day. Caddy is a rescue dog with a great fear of other dogs that meant she would try and avoid them at all costs or go in for the attack. She came into our lives in 2007 when she was just over a year old. She was so stressed in the kennels that she had a special room that was meant to make it feel more like a home but all the noise and smells were overwhelming her. What made me want to reach out to her was when amidst all the noise and her stress, there was a moment when she was sitting and the look on her face and in her eyes was that she was pleading and looking to be in a place far that had quietness and stillness away from all that she was experiencing. My heart reached out to her to try and give her that. It was not easy – she was terrified of people, didn’t want touching, didn’t know how to play, got overwhelmed very quickly and then there was her aggression to other dogs. However over the last 10 years she and we have overcome all but the fear aggression and that is more manageable now. She is the most loving and content dog now and the photo that dean has put up here really reminded me of that time when was looking out to a different place and space in the dogs centre many years ago. I was so lucky to have a counsellor at the time that helped me through the trauma of dealing and managing such a dog like she was – caddys way of dealing with life and her fear aggression was so alien to how I behaved that without those sessions I would have not been able to persist in understanding and have the copping tools to overcome them. Caddy adores being with people but is also very content just to smell the smells of the river like on that day as we sailed gently on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dean Parsons

      We’ve talked if this but to read your words is even more moving. She really is a dear soul and your kindness and hard work have changed her whole experience of life. What a treasured memory of a beautiful day, I have. I hope to see you all soon and to give Caddy a very big hug xx


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