It was a cool evening on the 16th of January 2021. Creatives from around the country were seated for an open discussion. This was at Eriata Heights Oriokuta-Ikorodu, Lagos.
The evening talks was on Mental Health, the moderator of the session asked a question: do writers go to poetry, or does poetry come to writers? This was on the background that many poets have died due to depression. As a result, some people have come to associate the beautiful art with suicide.
Attempts were made at answering the question. Here is a summary of the answers:
1. Some young people write their sad experience as poetry
2. Most of these sad-themed works make it to the journals, magazines and anthologies. There are many of them on the social media
3. Some readers/consumers recognize the poet’s feelings as theirs. Thus are infected by the sadness in these works
4. This infection leads the consumers / readers into depression
5. Depression could lead to suicide.
The above answers leaves one with the question:
Should writers stop writing sad themed works because they trigger depression in their readers?
Follow me on this space as I write on Writers, Consumers & Depression, every Sunday.