The Motive for Metaphor: Brief Essays on Poetry and Psychoanalysis

Author(s) : Henry M. Seiden

The Motive for Metaphor: Brief Essays on Poetry and Psychoanalysis

Book Details

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Henry M. Seiden’s The Motive for Metaphor exemplifies Freud’s admonition that the best way to deepen our appreciation of psychoanalytic process is through intense study of the arts, in this case, poetry. Both poets and psychotherapists will find sustenance in these essays. Seiden brings a deep respect for both the poetic and psychoanalytic process allowing each perspective to refract and illuminate the other.’
- William A. MacGillivray, PhD, ABPP, Past President, Division of Psychoanalysis, American Psychological Association

‘Like Walt Whitman, Henry M. Seiden is “large and contains multitudes” – taking on poets of various times and places, finding unexpected and delightful links to psychoanalysis, and sharing honest and personal reflections of his responses as a reader and fellow poet. All of the pieces in this volume are short and succinct; they invite rereading, and are well worth savouring. Indeed, I read many of the pieces in this book when they were originally published, and it was a pleasure to find that I appreciated them even more the second time around. Anyone who is interested in the intersection of the humanities and psychoanalysis will learn a great deal from reading Seiden’s work.’
- Elliot Jurist, PhD, The City College of New York and Graduate Center of the City University of New York

‘Psychoanalysis and poetics have been joined since Freud noted Schiller’s letter to a young poet to illustrate the state of mind conducive to psychoanalytic reflection. Psychoanalysts like Sharpe, Lacan, Bion, and Winnicott have reflected on this link and indeed have built their theories of the clinical process on it. Henry M. Seiden’s lively and evocative essays, collected in this volume, stand firmly in this great tradition, and contribute new perspectives to it. He generally approaches the link from the side of poetry and then examines the interplay with the psychoanalytic process. The results frequently shed new light on both psychoanalysis and poetry and the cumulative effect is to enliven our appreciation of their common roots.’
- David Lichtenstein, PhD, co-founder, faculty, and supervisor at the Apres-Coup Psychoanalytic Association; editor, DIVISION/Review: A Quarterly Psychoanalytic Forum

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