Adult Award-Winning Poetry Poetry Friday

[Poetry Friday] The Witness Becomes the Witnessed: Poems from Molly Peacock’s “The Analyst”

poetry friday

Fats here.

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Molly Peacock’s The Analyst pays tribute to a “decades-long patient-therapist relationship.” When her therapist became a painter after surviving a stroke, Molly Peacock used poetry as a means to turn words into pictures. The poems in this collection paint images that portray the special relationship that Molly had with her therapist before and after her therapist’s stroke.

Molly’s therapist Joan Workman Stein received her psychoanalytic training in New York City. She begun her practice in 1980 until suffering a stroke in 2012, which led Joan to close her doors as a therapist and reconnect with her first love: painting.

Published by W.W. Norton & Co. (2017)
ISBN-10: 0393254712
ISBN-13: 978-0393254716

I am very pleased to share two poems from this collection. Check out the Poetry Friday round-up hosted by Margaret at Reflections on the Teche!

The Analyst Draws

Two days after your stroke, they hold out the crayon
you vigorously reject. Four days on

without language,
you do what you loved before language:

pick up a pencil and draw.
“Do you know how much raw

rejection you take?” you asked me
one of the times we thought we’d ended therapy,

then said your Radcliffe professor taught
your studio class: ALL DRAWING IS THOUGHT.

But to you, abstraction was lying.
All you did was draw your father failing,

then dying. So when that man stalked to your easel
to deliver his raking critique, you walked

away from the studio—not to touch
a brush for thirty years. Brushes

you exchanged for words,
drawing from what you heard,

the lines of your patients’ inner lives, teasing
our patterns for the easing

of the raking, no, aching you saw.
So draw,

as I was drawn to you
as you drew me to you,

till I could walk away
as you now draw away.

(An excerpt)

How to Say “Thank You” in French

Method 1: Basic Thanks

Say “merci.” This is the standard, most basic way of saying “thank you” or “thanks” in French.

Merci for seeing me.
To be seen, important thing in life, most.

Add “madame” or “monsieur” after it. If you want your merci to sound a little more formal, you could address the other person as “madame” or “monsieur” after expressing your gratitude.

Merci, madame for not raising your eyebrows at mon monsieur, spécialement when I declare,
“I think I’m going to get married again.”

Method 2: Adding Emphasis

Use “merci beaucoup.” This phrase means “thank you very much” or “many thanks.”

Merci beaucoup for asking to meet him.
Merci beaucoup for saying, “I’ve always liked men with his looks.”
Merci beaucoup for your silence as I hysterically mention that mon fiancé has just passed the five-year cancer recurrence mark.



Joan Stein and Molly Peacock

For additional reading, check out StudioSeeds’ conversation with Molly Peacock.

4 comments on “[Poetry Friday] The Witness Becomes the Witnessed: Poems from Molly Peacock’s “The Analyst”

  1. Thanks for sharing these touching pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for your insights into The Analyst!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fats Suela

      I’m so glad I came across The Analyst and discovered your writing! Needless to say, I am a fan! Thank you for sharing your gift with words through your poems!


  3. Pingback: [Poetry Friday] Poetry in Motion – Gathering Books

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